Makes 8 servings 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained 1 cup diced persimmons or pomegranate seeds or 1/2...

Makes 8 servings

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed

1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 cup diced persimmons or pomegranate seeds or 1/2 cup dried cranberries

3 green onions, thinly sliced

1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted

1 teaspoon pomegranate syrup or honey

1/2 teaspoon whole grain mustard

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/4 cup walnut oil or olive oil

2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese or fresh goat cheese

1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add quinoa and boil until it is translucent but still has a bit of crunch, about 10 minutes. Drain and spread out on a baking sheet to cool.

2. Combine the quinoa with the chickpeas, fruit, green onions and walnuts in a large serving bowl.

3. In a small bowl, combine the syrup, mustard, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in the walnut oil. Add the dressing to the salad and toss with a little more salt and pepper to taste.

4. Serve immediately or chill, covered tightly, for several hours or overnight. Top with the cheese right before serving.

Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle