Salad Brain Exercise–Grapefruit and Fennel Salad

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.




Castelvetrano olives


Olive oil

Spinach leaves


Here’s a take off on the Mediterranean orange and olive salad. Here ruby grapefruit is paired with shaved fresh fennel and briny nutty Castelvetrano olives. The radishes are shredded.  All laid out on a bed of baby spinach.  Only need olive oil as the dressing because the acid in the grapefruit does the trick.  It’s always nice to have a lettuce leave platter. Fennel can be difficult to eat so fine shreds are easy to chew.  Shredded radish is and easy trick that adds a pop of interest and color.  I love the soft coloring of the salad with the tiny pop of red from the radish. Use the feathery fennel fronds for a little accent.


Change the olive to a dark Kalamata.  Red onion would be nice. Add another citrus for another color and more variety.  Cut the radish into rounds for a bigger statement. Blow off the spinach, if you don’t really need any greens. Or, change it to frisee for real drama.  How about some toasted walnuts and walnut oil for dressing.  How about some cucumber?

Need some more salad ideas? How about fresh orange juice gelee!  Yes, gelatin is cool! 


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