Salad Brain Exercise–Orange Juice Gelee

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.


Orange juice gelee–just follow the instructions for making fruit juice gelatin on a box of plain gelatin.  Make two cups with one packet of gelatin for about 6 servings.



Green onion

Baby spinach

Fruity olive oil



Gelatin made with fresh orange juice is the bomb. So refreshing and head-turning.  Just follow the directions on a box of unflavored gelatin for making a fruit juice gelatin. Let it chill until set. I like to blob it free-form style over the greens. The sharp rounds of radish and cucumber add strong shape, flavor, texture, and color contrast. This salad is another example of how ingredients like radish, cucumber, and onion can take a sweet ingredient to the savory side. Olive oil adds heft to the flavor and mouth-feel.


So many directions you can go here! Add some fresh orange pieces like this salad. Cut them in rounds to mirror the cukes and radishes. Different colors of orange would be fun. What if the juice was squeezed from red blood oranges? How about red onion instead of green. Shred the radishes. Add other fruits like pineapple, cranberries, and coconut. Toasted nuts are always a good idea. Crunchy celery and cucumber have the same analogous yellow-green to go with the orange. Bitter arugula would be nice. How about olives? Add crunchy carrots.

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