Side dish

Sofrito

There are so many different types of sofrito, depending on region and culture. At its essence, it is an aromatic vegetable base used as a base for rice dishes, stews and beans. It can also be used as a marinade or base layer of flavor for your meat and your side dishes. For the French, it is Mirepoix, which Cajun/Creole cooks might refer to it as the holy trinity (carrots, onions, celery). Italian cooks call the same base after adding garlic and parsley – sofritto. If you follow this site, you will notice that I often use this base for some of the Italian sauces/dishes. For Latin American cooks, different chiles and cilantro are often blended in. Spaniards add in tomatoes.

Our sofrito is a mashup of Spanish (Spain) and Latin American. We make a batch of it on Sundays and keep it in a glass jar in the refrigerator. We usually make romesco at the same time, which we add to our seafood and breakfast meals (eggs, sausage, potatoes).

Ways to use it:

  1. Marinate your chicken or pork in it, before adding other seasoning and cooking.
  2. Add to black beans, stews, or rice dishes
  3. As a base for paella.
  4. As a base to go with a meat filling for empanadas

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 medium yellow onions , finely diced
  • 2 large  green peppers, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tsps sweet smoked paprika
  • * handful of fresh cilantro (optional)
  • * a dash of cumin and/or oregano (optional)

Instructions

  • Dice your onions, garlic, pepper, and tomatoes.
  • Place a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat and add the olive oil, coating the bottom evenly.
  • When the oil is hot, saute the onions until transparent. Grind or add a little salt (1/2 tsp).
  • Add pepper and saute for another 5 minutes. Stir to avoid burning the vegetables, and reduce the heat if necessary.
  • Add the garlic and saute for a minute. Grind or add a little more salt (1/2 tsp).
  • Next, add the tomatoes and paprika, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add in the fresh cilantro (about a handful of shredded leaves). Stir often and continue to cook for around 15 minutes, or until the mixture takes on the consistency of a thick sauce.
  • Scoop the finished sofrito into mason jars and store in the fridge for up to a week.

2 thoughts on “Sofrito

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