Garden Vegetable Lentil Salad

Ingredients:
• 19 oz (540 mL) can brown lentils or 2 cups (500 mL) cooked lentils
• 1 jalapeño pepper or 2 tbsp (30 mL) drained, chopped canned jalapeños
• 1/2 small red onion
• 1 large sweet pepper, preferably yellow
• 8 baby carrots or thin peeled carrots
• 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
• 3 garlic cloves, minced, or 1 tsp (5 mL) bottled minced garlic
• 1 cup (250 mL) fresh peas
• 2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
• 2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin
• 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
• 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper (optional)
• 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped fresh mint or coriander (optional)

Directions:

1. Drain canned lentils, then rinse with cold water. Place in a large salad bowl. If using fresh jalapeño, remove seeds and finely chop. Finely chop onion. Core and seed sweet pepper, then chop. Thinly slice carrots.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon (15 mL) oil in a large frying pan set over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and garlic. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in jalapeño, sweet pepper and peas. Sauté for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add to lentils.

3. In a bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon (15 mL) oil with lemon juice, cumin, salt and cayenne, if using. Stir into salad. Taste and add more salt, if needed. If making ahead, cover and refrigerate up to 2 days, then add mint, if using, just before serving.