Aromatic and savory, sofrito is a condiment, a sauce, and a base for many Caribbean dishes from countries such as Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Cuba. In short, it is super versatile. And it is flavorful. Super flavorful.
Sofrito has its origins in Spanish cuisine and typically consists of onions sautéed in oil with ingredients like garlic, hot and/or sweet peppers, tomatoes, and herbs such as cilantro, culantro, and oregano. Some sofritos are red, others are green, some are chunky, and others puréed.
My version is gluten-free, vegan, and most of all it has an amazing “fresh” taste. Use it with tacos, as a condiment for just about any grilled food, and as a base for a good pot of beans. It’s even good served as a dip with chips!
2 medium Spanish – or yellow – onions (cut into 1-inch chunks)
4 cubanelle peppers (seeded, cut into 1-inch chunks)
18 medium cloves garlic (peeled)
1 large bunch of cilantro (washed and chopped)
4 leaves of culantro
4 ripe plum tomatoes (cored and cut into 1-inch chunks)
2 medium red bell peppers (seeded, cut into 1-inch chunks)
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cubanelle peppers and sauté until onions are soft. Place onions and cubanelle peppers in the bowl of a 6-cup food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until very coarsely chopped.
With the motor running, add the remaining ingredients one at a time through the feed tube and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt. Transfer to container and store in refrigerator until ready to use. It will keep on the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days and much longer if frozen.
Note: If you can’t find cubanelle peppers, substitute Anaheim chiles. Culantro, although similar to cilantro, is not the same as cilantro. On the Westcoast, look for culantro in Asian food markets.