I cannot complain about my eggplant harvest this year. I grew both classic and Ichiban varieties and had to figure out what to do with all of it. At end-of-season harvest time, we were still dealing with the kitchen renovation and couldn't really cook. So, I gave away much of it and froze the rest. I've never preserved eggplant this way (I usually find ways to cook with it), but thought it would be worth a shot.
Here's the deal - I've never done this before, so I relied on advice from Pick Your Own website. They have some sound advice.
Ingredients & Equipment
1/2-1 cup lemon juice
1 large pot boiling water
1-22 large bowls filled with cold water and ice
"Ziploc" gallon bags or a vacuum food sealer
- Harvest your eggplant. The fresher the better!
- Wash the eggplant.
- Cut and remove both ends of eggplant.
- Peel and slice eggplantinto 1/3 inch thick round slices.
- Fill a large of pot of water about 2/3 full and add 1/2 cup lemon juice. Bring to a boil.
- Get a large bowl of water with cold water and ice ready.
- Blanch the eggplant - about 4 minutes per batch. You can use the same blanching water for about 5 batches.
- Remove the eggplant from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and place in cold ice water bath for about 5 minutes.
- Drain eggplant. Pat dry as needed.
- Place the eggplant in Ziploc bags or vacuum seal bags. If using Ziploc bags, be sure to squeeze as much air out of the bags as possible. Put that bag inside of another bag to help prevent freezer burn.
- Place bags in the freezer. These can generally be kept for up to 9 months in the freezer.
I haven't used them in any recipes yet, but will be sure to report back when I do.