Recaito is a green aromatic puree of onions, culantro (recao) leaves, garlic, green peppers and ajies dulces (small sweet chile peppers).
In Puerto Rico, recaito is used as the base seasoning known as sofrito. When preparing Puerto Rican cuisines, you may notice it called by either name.
Notice the absence of tomatoes. Typically, Puerto Ricans do not add tomatoes to their recaito. Sofrito recipes that do include tomatoes or tomato paste, sauce or juice are generally for Dominican, Cuban, Spanish, Italian, and other Mediterranean cuisines.
1. Chop and blend all the ingredients in a food processor or blender.
Ingredients: Cubanelle Peppers are also called Italian frying peppers. Removing seeds from the ajies dulces is optional.
How to Use It: Recaito is normally used as the starting base of soups, stews, beans, and rice dishes. It is first sautéed in annatto oil or lard, and then the other recipe ingredients are added. However, there are other recipes where the recaito can be added toward the end of cooking time to add a finishing touch to the recipe.
How to Store It: Because it’s such an essential ingredient, it isn’t uncommon for home cooks to prepare large batches of recaito/sofrito in order to have enough on hand to use all week long and to freeze a little for later use. Store freshly made recaito/sofrito in a glass container in the refrigerator for immediate use or freeze in 1/4 to 1/2 cup portions for use any time.