Salad Brain Exercise–Fennel and Cucumber

by Min Merrell

Salad Brain is a creativity platform.

These exercises use the platter, rather than the typical deep salad bowl, as the canvas for creation and a means to illustrate the universal process of creative thinking and design. No matter the field, the steps of creativity are the same. Here we’re using salads because we all have some experience with salad, a low-stakes, easy medium for practicing everyday creativity. Plus, your installation will feed you beautifully and well, and shouldn’t we all be eating more salads anyway?


For an introduction to getting in touch with your salad brain, read Welcome to Salad Brain Creativity.


Fennel Bulb


Green onion slivers



This favorite platter salad illustrates how fun it is to have a mandoline. Knives are fine, but to reach the next level of ease and precision, a mandoline is a game-changer. I’ve had plenty and am happy to report my favorite is a simple Benriner from Japan. It’s just a plastic flat slicer that costs about 30 bucks. When it wears out, get another one. It’s simple to use and you’ll be pulling it out of the drawer for radishes, fennel bulbs, cucumbers. Well, everything you need in this salad right here. I love this one because the color is so ethereal and dewy. Everything is paper-thin thanks to the Benriner. My yellow-green platter just keeps on giving.  The fennel fronds are a nice touch. Fennel classically dressed with olive oil and fresh lemon juice is hard to stray away from. The little edge of red on the radishes is just right.


Not sure how to make this better, but there are a million ways to make it different. Fresh parsley. Celery has similar characteristics to the fennel without the anise flavor and could be interesting.  It would be harder to cut into such delicate pieces.  Add fresh orange.

Related Posts