Lentils play a big role in Venezuelans' diets and we often eat them simply boiled with a bowl of white rice on the side. In this dish, I keep to that principle of simplicity but add all kinds of vibrant colors and flavors like fresh mint, lemon juice and of course, cilantro.
Place a bowl of ice water on the counter.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Add the lentils and salt, return to a boil reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 25 minutes.
Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and then plunge the lentils (still in the sieve) into the ice water to chill them.
Remove, shake off the extra water, and repeat if necessary until the lentils are completely cooled. Turn the lentils out into a large bowl.
Add the bell peppers and onions to the lentils and stir to combine.
Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and black pepper in a small bowl.
Stir the cilantro and mint and then scrape the mixture over the lentils.
Stir to combine and serve immediately. This can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. The salad can be served cold or at room temperature.
From the Book, NEW LATIN CLASSICS by Lorena Garcia. Copyright © 2011 by Lorena Garcia. Reprinted by arrangement with Ballantine Books, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.