How to Make It
In a medium saucepan, combine all of the ingredients with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the quinoa is tender and all of the water has been absorbed, about 25 minutes. Spread the quinoa out on a baking sheet to cool.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet. In 2 batches, cook the onions over moderately low heat, turning occasionally, until well charred, 18 to 20 minutes. Chop the onions; reserve 1/3 cup for the dressing. Transfer the remaining onions to a medium bowl.
In a small skillet, toast the quinoa over low heat, stirring frequently, until it’s crunchy and starts to pop, about 5 minutes. Add the toasted quinoa to the charred onions in the bowl, then add all of the remaining ingredients and mix well.
In a blender, combine all of the ingredients along with the reserved 1/3 cup of charred onions. Puree until smooth. Strain the dressing into a small bowl.
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the salt and garnishes. Add the cooled quinoa, charred onion mix and half of the dressing, season with salt and toss. Transfer the salad to a platter and top with the garnishes. Serve the remaining dressing on the side.
make ahead The quinoa, charred onion mix and dressing can be refrigerated separately overnight.