This tasty quinoa recipe is adapted from Joan Nathan's "New American Cooking."
Fill a pot fitted with a steamer basket with enough water to cover the bottom of the pot without touching the basket; bring to a boil. Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. Place asparagus in steamer basket; cover and cook until asparagus is barely tender, but still crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer asparagus to water bath until cool; drain and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Add quinoa and cook, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover skillet; let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and let stand, covered, for 15 minutes.
Transfer quinoa to a serving platter. Add asparagus and toss to combine. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with pine nuts and basil, garnish with chopped preserved lemons. Serve hot or at room temperature.