If you’re new to the concept of sofrito, it’s basically the blending a bunch of fresh vegetables, aromatics and herbs to use as a sauté base. You can use it in soups, stews, rice, or anything you sauté or boil. Many cultures have their own version, and seeing how I enjoy learning about American Southern cuisine, I felt inclined to create a sofrito which features Southern ingredients. You can make this in large batches, store it in the freezer, and use small portions in recipes as needed.
A huge benefit to cooking with sofrito is certainly the convenience of having everything premixed. But it also allows you to achieve a consistent flavor every time you make a particular recipe. Just like a spice blend.
The combination of celery, onions and green bell pepper is know as the “holy trinity” of gumbo. This is technically a sofrito. So, I was inclined to build upon that and bring some other flavors into the mix. The timing for this idea was perfect because I still had lots of cherry tomatoes and Tabasco peppers waiting to ripen in my balcony garden.
I confess, I’m not from the South. My experience cooking Southern food stems from watching home chefs on YouTube and cooking for my Southern boyfriend. Im met with much trial and error and I love the learning process. And even though my Black family has origins in Rhode Island, the Southern tradition of fried green tomatoes made its way into my late grandfather’s kitchen. He used to fry them, just like they do in the South.
The two ingredients that make this Southern Sofrito distinct are green tomatoes and tabasco peppers. They can be difficult to find. If you can only find a red tomato, go ahead and work with what you have. Tabasco peppers can also be found stored in vinegar in many grocery stores.
Ingredients for southern sofrito
Amounts for the following ingredients are completely flexible. Feel free to adjust these to your liking.
- white onion
- garlic cloves
- green bell pepper
- tabasco peppers
- green tomatoes, if you can find them
- red vine tomato
Theres nothing difficult happening here … simply cut everything into tiny pieces and blend in a food processor. Store your sofrito in a plastic bag in the freezer.