Singing the Praises of Sofrito
Cooking is all about building flavor. And when you’re cooking healthfully, putting that into practice is even more important. Because by layering flavor, you can turn a boring dish into an amazing one. One simple way to do that is to start your dish with a blend of herbs, spices and peppers known as a sofrito. Sofritos are commonly used in Latin American cooking, and vary greatly depending on culture. That’s why there are so many unique variations for one seemingly simple recipe. The version I have created here is based loosely on the Puerto Rican interpretation. Puerto Rican sofritos don’t typically call for tomatoes, so you’ll notice there aren’t any in my recipe. I also roasted my vegetables first, which adds a level of sweetness to the sofrito. Cubanelles are one of the main ingredients, but if you can’t find them at your grocery, you can substitute another sweet bell pepper.
What do you do with the sofrito once you make it? There are several fun ways to incorporate sofrito into the dishes you are already making. If rice is on the menu, saute up the sofrito in a little olive oil first, then add the rice and water, cover and cook until done. Or if you are making a soup, sweat some onion, celery and carrot in a pot in a little olive oil, add the sofrito and cook until fragrant, then add your broth and remaining ingredients. What else can you do? Stir sofrito into sauteed vegetable dishes, beans or stews. Or use it as a spread for sandwiches or tortas. The options are truly endless. So enjoy this amazingly healthy recipe to add bold flavors to your next meal.Print
A simply healthy and delicious recipe that can add flavor to anything from rice dishes to beans.
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded, stemmed and cut into 2-inch planks
- 3 cubanelle peppers, seeded, stemmed and cut into 2-inch planks
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 head garlic, loose, papery leaves removed
- 1 cup cilantro, washed
- Preheat the oven to 425’F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
- Toss the red bell pepper, cubanelle peppers and onion with half of the olive oil in a large bowl. Spread out in an even layer onto the baking sheet.
- Slice off the top of the head of garlic to expose the cloves. Place the garlic with the cut end up on a piece of foil then drizzle with the remaining oil. Fold up the sides of the foil and loosely close at the top. Place on the sheet pan or directly on the rack in the oven.
- Roast vegetables for 30minutes or until tender, stirring the pepper and onion mixture halfway through cooking time.
- Allow the vegetables to cool slightly. Transfer the peppers and onions to a blender. Squeeze the roasted garlic into the blender and add the cilantro. Blend for about 1 minute, processing until slightly smooth, preserving some of the texture.
- Use immediately or freeze for later use
- Makes approximately 1 cup sofrito.
- Calories: 319
- Sugar: 25
- Sodium: 32
- Fat: 15
- Saturated Fat: 2
- Unsaturated Fat: 12
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 41
- Protein: 6
- Cholesterol: 0