Salad Brain Exercise–Potato 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.


Your favorite potato salad

Pull out an ingredient

Side of bright red tomatoes


What can you do to a ho hum deep bowl of potato salad to add some kind of interest to the blurry mess? Sure it tastes great, but…Here’s an instance where a really cool platter can make an enticing difference.  I also often think about the ingredients in the recipe and pull one out to highlight and add interest. In this case, it’s celery.  The side of chopped fresh tomatoes was a seasonal inspiration.  When are juicy summer tomatoes ever a bad idea?  And they add acidity and color to the creamy potatoes.  I could have sprinkled them around but opted for the more dramatic pile on the side.


Don’t discount the power of paprika or a sprinkling of parsley. These ideas may seem overused, but overused for good reason. Other fresh herbs are great options–tarragon, oregano, marjoram, chives, and chive flowers. Actually, anything flowering would be nice.  There are millions of recipes for potato salad. Whatever is in your favorite, pull something out as an accent.  How about a  tangle of asparagus or green beans on the side or blended in.  Don’t forget about other varieties of potatoes.  Evenly sized tiny new potatoes in any variety add instant sophistication to all American mayonnaisy potatoes. Whole-grain mustard or yellow mustard changes the whole potato canvas.

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