Salad Brain Exercise–Roasted Squash and Carrots

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.


Roasted squash–Cut into pieces, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast on a baking sheet at 400F until soft and lightly charred.

Roasted carrots–same treatment as above.


Fresh mint leaves

Olive oil

Fresh lemon juice


This is a simple illustration of how roasted vegetables can be defined as a salad. No need to serve them warm so this salad is great for make-ahead convenience–often a parameter for your salad brain thinking.  And you don’t always need a green.  I’m resisting the kale haha!


I sure would like to add a sprinkling of bright pomegranate seeds or a drizzle of pomegranate syrup. Pistachios sound nice. What kind of squash will you use? Carrots come in all colors. Dried fruits like bits of date, fig, or those wonderful green raisins. Other middle eastern seasonings like za’tar and sumac would add some fun interest. I have some great date vinegar that would be a nice substitute for the fresh lemon. Maybe balsamic vinegar.  Roasted cranberries are something we always have on hand during the holidays. Add these to any winter salad. Greek yogurt instead of labneh.

Would you like this to have a green?  How about some fresh orange pieces so we’re mixing roasted veg with fresh fruit.

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