Red lentils have a soft texture and with this vibrant collection of vegetables and sweet fresh oranges it makes a fulfilling luncheon salad or a side.
Rinse lentils with cold water and remove any bits of rocks or tiny objects. Place in a large pot with 3 cups of cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, for 20-30 minutes. Remove any white froth from the top.
When soft, drain the lentils and place on a sheet pan to cool.
The lentils can be made in advance and doubled.
Note: 1 cup of dried lentils = 3 cups cooked lentils.
In a large saute pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the red peppers, jalepeno, onion, and garlic. Saute until onions are transparent. Cool.
To the cooled vegetables, add the remaining ingredients, the fresh tomato, orange, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and basil. Add the lentils and gently mix thoroughly.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours before serving.