In medium saucepan, bring quinoa, water, and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain gentle simmer. Simmer, uncovered, about 15 to 20 minutes, or until water is nearly absorbed. Cover and let steam for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Spread on rimmed baking sheet to cool. Omit this step if you already have cooked quinoa.
Meanwhile, toast pepitas. In medium sized skillet, mix pepitas with 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and a dash of cayenne pepper. Over medium low heat and stirring frequently, toast pepitas until golden, about 12 minutes. Immediately remove from heat, and spread out on a plate lined with parchment paper to cool.
In a large bowl, combine dressing ingredients. Whisk until blended.
Add quinoa, chickpeas, red onions, apricots, parsley, mint, and feta. Mix lightly until combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Immediately before serving, add blackberries and pepitas, and toss to combine.
Makes about 6 cups.
Soak onions in ice water before adding them to the salad. It’s optional, but it takes the strength of them down a notch and prevents them from being overwhelming.
Add spinach leaves or finely chopped kale.
Substitute pistachios or sliced almonds for the pepitas.
Blueberries, strawberries, or cherries are great alternatives to blackberries. Dried cranberries, cherries, or golden raisins can take the place of dried apricots.
Try blue cheese, goat cheese, or gorgonzola instead of feta cheese. Tiny cubes of manchego or asiago are yummy.