In a small bowl combine dates and boiling water. Let stand, covered, 1 hour. Transfer mixture to a food processor; cover and process until smooth.
In a large saucepan combine pureed dates, coconut milk, 1 cup of the pears, the cardamom, and salt. Bring just to boiling. Stir in quinoa; reduce heat. Simmer 25 to 30 minutes or until quinoa is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.
Serve topped with remaining 1 cup pears, pecans, and, if desired, milk and cinnamon.