Makes 4 to 6 servings.
1 cup quinoa
1 garlic clove, pounded to a smooth paste with a pinch of salt
1 large shallot, finely diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
3 and 1/2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice, plus more as needed
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium red pepper, halved, seeded, and finely diced
1 small- to medium-sized cucumber, peeled and seeded, if necessary, and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs for garnish
2 to 3 ripe avocados, sliced
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season generously with salt. Rinse quinoa under cool running water, lightly rubbing it between your fingers for a few seconds. Add it to the boiling water and cook until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain the quinoa well and spread out on a baking sheet to cool.
2. Put the garlic, shallot, jalapeño, and lime juice in a small bowl. Season with salt and stir to combine. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and whisk to combine. Taste; add more salt or lime, if necessary.
3. Put quinoa, red pepper, cucumber, and chopped cilantro in a medium bowl. Drizzle about half the vinaigrette into the bowl and gently fold to combine. Taste; add more salt, vinaigrette, or lime juice, if needed.
4. Arrange the sliced avocado on a platter or individual serving plates. Season the avocado with salt and drizzle the remaining vinaigrette on top. Spoon the quinoa salad on and around the avocado. Garnish with cilantro, and serve immediately.