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You will find this essential staple in every Puerto Rican kitchen. This herb medley is blended down to infuse an innumerable amount of dishes. The top 3 dishes that come to mind, because they are on constant rotation in my home, are Arroz con Gandules (rice with pigeon peas), Empanadas de Picadillo (ground beef empanadas), and Habichuelas Guisadas (red stewed beans). These dishes, among others, cannot authentically be made without this base. Consider this “the secret ingredients.”
Garden-Fresh Puerto Rican Sofrito
- 1 onion You can use either Spanish or Vidalia
- 1 green bell pepper
- 6 ajicitos dulces (aji cachucha) Small sweet peppers, mildly spicy
- 1 bunch culantro Approximately 8 leaves. Culantro is a stronger version of cilantro and has long leaves with sawtooth edges.
- 4-6 garlic cloves This depends on your taste for garlic and how large your cloves are
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Optional (Some people add this and some do not. If you like cilantro, I recommend adding.):
- ½ bunch cilantro (leaves and stems) Approximately 1 cup
If doubling recipe:
- 1 bunch cilantro (leaves and stems) Approximately 2 cups
- Using a chef's knife, peel and quarter (cut into 4 pieces) your onion on a cutting board and add to the food processor.
- Remove the stem and seeds from the green bell pepper, quarter and add to the food processor.
- Halve the ajicitos, remove seeds and stems and add to the food processor.
- Crush and peel the garlic cloves and add to the food processor.
- Add the culantro and optional cilantro to the food processor.
- Drizzle in half of the olive oil and process. If the sofrito isn't blending, drizzle in the remaining oil until the mixture blends into a chunky consistency.
- Pause the food processor and with a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides, and process until fully combined, and no large pieces remain. You want the sofrito to be similar in texture to a pesto.
If storing in a refrigerator:
- Store in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid and it will be good for 10 days.You can store sofrito in plastic Tupperware, but plan for that container to be your new dedicated sofrito container because it will forever smell of this delicious, herbaceous gold.
If storing in a freezer:
- Use ice cube trays to freeze the sofrito first and then transfer the frozen cubes to a freezer bag. Store in the freezer for 6 months or 9 months if you're using a deep freezer.
Did you make this recipe?