Olaf Breuning’s Daily Salad

Julia Sherman



It should come as no surprise that Olaf Breuning doesn’t keep a routine in the studio. An artist with an impressively dynamic practice that spans body painting, photography, large public works, and smoke bomb sculptures, Olaf is constantly searching for a challenge, except when it comes to lunch. Ever since he turned 40, he has prepared the same salad every day in an effort to eat more mindfully. Like so many of us, Olaf was dizzied by the ever-changing landscape of the health and wellness sphere. To simplify the process of eating well, he made a commitment to salad, lightly tossed in oil and vinegar, seasoned with salt and pepper. The reasoning behind this, he says, is that no one talks shit about salad, so how could you go wrong? 

But this is not an entirely perfunctory act. Olaf really enjoys preparing and eating his salad, especially since he started using the brightly colored bowls he created with Swiss design studio, Atelier Pfister. I visited Olaf at his country house, where he allowed me to photograph and join him in his daily ritual. When he was done chopping and tossing, and the random mélange of vegetables were dressed to his liking, we took the salad outside, lit some smoke bombs, and called it lunch. 


3 cups (approximately) of any combination of the vegetables you have in the fridge; this is a “more is more” approach 
1 package (10 ounces) of mesclun greens, washed and spun

1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
5 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and cracked black pepper



Combine oil and vinegar in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to emulsify the oil. Chop your vegetables into ½ inch pieces and add to the bowl (Olaf used boiled beets, hardboiled eggs, raw cremini mushrooms, raw fennel, red cabbage, cherry tomatoes, and bell pepper). Toss to coat. Just before serving, add greens and toss well to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Olaf Breuning, Mr. Yellow Beet Eye
Olaf Breuning, Mr. Yellow Beet Eye


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