Spanish and Latin American cooks use aromatic sofritos—sautéed mixtures of herbs, peppers, garlic, onions, spices and tomatoes—to flavor many dishes. You can also stir them into omelets, soups and stews.

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  • Servings: makes about 4 cups


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 8 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and minced
  • Large pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 medium tomatoes—seeded and chopped, or one 28-ounce can of peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

How to make this recipe

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook over low heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, green bell peppers, jalapeños and cayenne pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 20 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until the juices have evaporated, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper and stir in the cilantro.

Make Ahead

The sofrito can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Contributed By Published November 2004

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