Luckily, it’s actually really easy to freeze them. You can just slice them raw and throw them in your freezer, but they’ll only last about 3 months that way (don’t thaw before using if you do this).
But it’s not difficult to quickly prepare them so that they’ll last up to 9 months in your freezer.
1. Puree them, then freeze ( about 10 min)
This method is best if you like to add eggplant to various dishes, and don’t mind if it’s been pureed.
- Wash and dry your eggplant. Remove the green tops.
- Use a fork to puncture holes through the skin. Then microwave for about 4 minutes on high, or until you feel the inside collapse (you’ll know what I mean when it happens). If you’ve got long, skinny japanese eggplants, it’s fine if you have to cut them in half to make them fit in your microwave. Thicker eggplants will take a bit longer.
- Allow your eggplants to cool. Then blend them until they are smooth in your blender or a food processor. You don’t need to peel the japanese eggplants (long skinny ones), but you might want to peel types with a thicker skin.
- Scoop into freezer bags, dishes, muffin tins, or an ice cube tray and freeze.
You can also add spices and tahini as you blend your eggplants, then use the puree for a sandwich spread or dip. Salt, garlic, pepper, cayenne pepper, tahini, and parmesan cheese work well.
2. Blanche Them
This method works best if you’d like to make dishes like eggplant casserole, or you simply want to fry them later. Just a heads up that they won’t hold their shape as well after they’ve been frozen
- Wash and peel your eggplants. If you are using Japanese eggplants (long skinny ones), you don’t need to peel them.
- Fill a large pot 2/3 full of water, and put it on to boil. If you aren’t doing very many eggplants, use a smaller pot. (optional: add salt and lemon juice to the water (1/2 c to 1gallon water) – the lemon juice will help prevent your eggplant from turning brown)
- Slice your eggplants into 1/4 in slices.
- Once the water is boiling vigourously, dump your eggplant slices in.
- Leave the eggplant in the boiling water for 4 min. Then quickly remove it from the water, and cool using ice or cold water. Cooling the eggplant keeps it from over cooking and turning to mush on you. You can either scoop the eggplant out of the water with a slotted spoon or fork (for large slices), or simply dump everything into a pasta strainer and place ice on top.
- Once cooled, spread your eggplant slices out in a single layer on baking/cookie tray so that they won’t stick together when they freeze. If you want to do multiple layers on one tray, separate them with a sheet of parchment paper.
That’s it! Once your eggplant slices are nice and frozen, you can put them into dishes or freezer bags.
What can you do with this frozen eggplant?
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Ratatouille, baba ganoush, eggplant casserole, fried eggplant (if you froze slices), eggplant au’gratin, or just toss some into your pasta sauce.