Recaito, a pungent mixture of the culantro, cilantro, onion, garlic, and pepper, is a staple ingredient in many Puerto Rican and other Latin dishes. While this puree is the foundation of many dishes including soups, stews, bean and rice dishes, it can be added near the end of cooking time to finish a recipe. Don’t confuse “culantro” with “cilantro.” Culantro has long leaves with tapered tips and serrated edges. When it comes to flavor, culantro is like “cilantro times ten.” Try recaito as an ingredient in the traditional Puerto Rican dish Arroz con Gandules (Rice and Pigeon Peas).
Yield: 1 cup or 4 (1/4 cup) bags
- 8-10 culantro leaves
- 1 cup packed cilantro leaves
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 6 garlic cloves,
- 1 Cajun belle or cubanelle pepper, cored, seeded, and quartered
Place all ingredients in a food processor; pulse 8 to 10 times or until mixture is finely chopped, stopping twice to scrape down sides.
Spoon mixture by 1/4-cup measure into heavy-duty zip lock freezer bags. Flatten bags to remove air. Store in freezer until ready to use. Thaw at room temperature.