This Is the Best Way to Freeze Eggplant
If your CSA box was filled to the brim with eggplant (lucky you!) or your excitement at eggplant’s arrival at the farmers market got the best of you and you have more of these jewel-toned beauties than you can eat in a few days, it may be time to resort to Plan B. You see, eggplant is at its best when eaten within a few days after bringing it home, otherwise you’re best bet is to freeze the eggplant. This is the best way to do it.
Cook First, Then Freeze
To get the best results, you’ll want to fire up the oven before heading to the freezer. Because of its high water content, eggplant doesn’t freeze well raw. It benefits from being cooked (even just partially) first.
There are two methods for preparing and freezing eggplant, and the right one for you all depends on how you plan to use the eggplant later.
1. Freeze Eggplant Slices
If you plan to use eggplant for sandwiches, eggplant parm, or a dish that uses whole pieces off eggplant, it’s best to freeze in slices or rounds. Cut the eggplant into approximately one-inch-thick rounds, bake in a 350°F for about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the eggplant, just until tender. Once cool, place the slices between wax paper to prevent sticking, and store in freezer bags or containers (making sure to prevent freezer burn).
2. Freeze Eggplant Purée
And when whole pieces aren’t necessary, like when you plan to use eggplant for dips, sauces, soups, stews, and spreads, cook it whole and freeze just the purée.
Start by poking the eggplant with a fork, then roast in a 400°F oven for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the eggplant, until it starts to collapse. Once cool, halve the eggplant, scoop out the flesh, and freeze in freezer bags or containers.
No matter which method you use, when stored properly, it will last for up to one year in the freezer and is perfect for your eggplant recipes.