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Chef Andrew Swallow with a riff on the citrus and crab salad from his upcoming cookbook. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

See Drew smile. Drew's a happy guy, even though he balked, mildly, at posing for the photo this way at The Post last week. He's chef and co-founder of Mixt Greens, an eco-gourmet quick-service chain that began in San Francisco, spread to L.A., and hit town last week, with more locations to come.

Swallow is committed to improving the sorry state of fast food in this country by feeding the demand for sustainable, locally sourced, fresh ingredients. He's got a cookbook of 70 salads and dressings due out in April that is organized by seasons, which I'm betting will do very well.

This salad's perhaps not the best example of locavore eating; for starters, everyday cooks in the Washington area don't have access to fresh Dungeness crab like he does. The passion fruit puree that was supposed to go into the vinaigrette was a little hard to find; five stores we checked were out of the frozen kind and the fresh fruit. So we substituted fresh mango. (We offered the chef a jar of Goya passion fruit jam; he liked the taste but took one look at its ingredient list, found corn syrup and said no thanks.) But Cara Cara oranges are in stores now and the salad's a sunny treat on a week full of gray blobs of snow on the curbs.

Check out the recipe headnote (hit the recipe link) for Swallow's thoughts on that wooden salad bowl in your cabinet.

Citrus and Crab Salad With Fruity Vinaigrette
4 servings

1 ripe mango (may substitute 2 tablespoons passion fruit puree)

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tablespoons champagne vinegar

1 tablespoon agave nectar

4 small heads butter lettuce

1 pound crabmeat (preferably Dungeness or lump blue crab; do not use claw)

About 3/4 ounce chives (1 clamshell pack)

10 red (round) radishes

2 Cara Cara oranges (see headnote)

1 ruby red or white grapefruit

2 ripe avocados

Questions? I'll be on Twitter.

-- Bonnie Benwick

By The Food Section  |  February 2, 2010; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  Recipes , Shopping  | Tags: Bonnie Benwick, Dinner in Minutes, recipes, salads  
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