Toast the quinoa lightly before cooking. 1/2 cup dry quinoa to 3/4-cup water. bring water to boil, add the toasted quinoa, bring to a simmer, lower down the heat, cover the pot with a lid and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, leave the pot covered for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, your quinoa will be al-dente and a bit crunchy, which is the perfect texture for this salad. Fluff quinoa with a fork and extend it on a plate to cool it down. If you have leftover quinoa from the night before, bring it on it works great!