Freezing Eggplant

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.

Ichiban eggplant harvest

Ichiban eggplant harvest

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.

Slice about 1/3 inch thick

Slice about 1/3 inch thick

Freezing Eggplant

Ingredients & Equipment

Eggplant
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

Directions

  1. Harvest your eggplant. The fresher the better!
  2. Wash the eggplant.
  3. Cut and remove both ends of eggplant. 
  4. Peel and slice eggplantinto 1/3 inch thick round slices.
  5. Fill a large of pot of water about 2/3 full and add 1/2 cup lemon juice. Bring to a boil.
  6. Get a large bowl of water with cold water and ice ready.
  7. Blanch the eggplant - about 4 minutes per batch. You can use the same blanching water for about 5 batches.
  8. Remove the eggplant from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and place in cold ice water bath for about 5 minutes.
  9. Drain eggplant. Pat dry as needed.
  10. 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.
  11. Place bags in the freezer. These can generally be kept for up to 9 months in the freezer.
Frozen Eggplant

Frozen Eggplant

I haven't used them in any recipes yet, but will be sure to report back when I do.

I'm Catherine, a small-space urban gardener in New Jersey (Zone 7a) who started gardening out of upcycled wooden wine boxes. For years, I wanted to try gardening, but didn't know where to start. I got up the nerve to give it a try - starting small with a single wooden wine box that turned an idea into reality. That reality quickly turned into my filling every sunny inch of space of my postage-stamp size lawn and turning it into a garden oasis. I grow mostly vegetables and herbs with some exception for fruits (when the squirrels and rabbits don't get to them first). I love learning from gardening communities (and lots of trial and error).

I hope one day to take all that I'm learning and apply it to a larger plot of land. To help me get there, I'm extending my learning through the University of Massachusetts, Stockbridge School of Agriculture's, Sustainable Food & Farming program. (I'm addicted to learning as much as I am to gardening.)

This blog isn't just for gardeners (although I hope it inspires some of you to try growing a plant or two). The recipes (food & cocktails) in theRecipes section of this blog contain ingredients that don't have to come from your own backyard. If you like visiting your local farmer's market(or even your grocery store) and would like to get some new recipes you can use with the fresh produce and herbs you get from your local growers, this blog will have plenty for you too.

In addition to gardening and cooking, I also love to visit and photograph my surroundings. I feel fortunate to have so many amazing places here in New York/New Jersey, where I live and work. Visits to local farms, farmer's markets, and cycling through rural farming areas help me feel connected and refreshed. share these experiences in theExploring section of the blog so that you might visit through proxy or be inspired enough to visit yourself. 

With very few exceptions, all of the photographs on this site are ones I have taken myself. (For the photographers out there, I shoot with a Canon 7D and sometimes with my Lumix  DMC-ZS15 compact camera.) 

I hope this blog inspires you to grow, create, explore, and try something new. The best way to stay up-to-date is to follow me using the social buttons above, or click Subscribe and sign up for my email newsletters.    

Happy Gardening and Healthful Living!

- Catherine