Fast And Easy Ways To Preserve Eggplants: A StepbyStep Guide

1. Freezing

One of the simplest and most convenient ways to preserve eggplants is by freezing them. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Start by slicing the eggplant into 1/4 inch thick slices.
  • Blanch the slices in boiling water for 5 minutes, then quickly transfer them to a bowl of ice water to cool.
  • Once cooled, lay the slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer for 5 to 6 hours until firm.
  • Finally, transfer the frozen slices into a sealable container and store them in the freezer until you’re ready to use them.

Frozen eggplant slices can be used in a variety of dishes like stir-fries, stews, or even as a base for a delicious eggplant parmesan. The best part is that they retain their texture and flavor when properly frozen.

2. Roasting And Pureeing

Roasting and Pureeing Eggplant to Preserve Flavor

Roasting and pureeing eggplant is an excellent method for preserving their enticing flavor and ensuring their availability for future culinary endeavors. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Start by slicing the eggplant in half lengthwise and positioning the halves, with the skin-side facing down, in a roasting dish.
  • Drizzle the exposed flesh of the eggplant with olive oil and sprinkle it with a pinch of salt. For an added burst of flavor, consider incorporating some crushed garlic.
  • Place the eggplant in a preheated oven at 400ºF and allow it to roast for approximately 40 minutes, or until the inside becomes tender and soft.
  • Once the eggplant has finished roasting, give it some time to cool down. Then, gently scoop out the flesh and transfer it to freezer-proof containers.
  • Prior to storing the containers in the freezer, ensure you label and date them accordingly.

Roasted and pureed eggplant serves as a versatile ingredient that can be utilized in various ways:

  • It can serve as a flavorful base for Baba Ghanoush, a scrumptious Mediterranean dip.
  • Add it to sauces, soups, or spreads to elevate their taste and aroma.

Remember, the key to successfully preserving and enhancing eggplant’s flavor is through careful roasting and pureeing.

3. Fridge Pickled Eggplant

If you’re a fan of pickled vegetables, you’ll love this easy and quick method of preserving eggplants. Follow these steps:

  • Start by thinly slicing three medium eggplants and layering them in a colander. Sprinkle a light coating of salt between each layer.
  • Place a plate on top of the colander to weigh it down, allowing the excess moisture to drain for about an hour. This step helps to remove any bitterness from the eggplants.
  • In a pot, boil 2/3 cup of red wine vinegar and 1/3 cup of water.
  • Put the eggplant slices in the boiling mixture for two minutes, then remove them and place them in a bowl.
  • Add crushed garlic to taste and 1/2 teaspoon of oregano to the bowl.
  • Transfer the eggplant slices into clean jars, packing them tightly and adding the boiling liquid to eliminate any air gaps.
  • If desired, you can also add whole garlic cloves or chili to the jars for extra flavor.
  • Store the jars in the refrigerator, and after a few days, the pickled eggplants will be ready to enjoy.

Fridge pickled eggplants can be used as a topping for sandwiches, salads, or even enjoyed on their own as a tangy and flavorful snack.

  • Fridge pickled eggplants can be used as a topping for sandwiches, salads, or even enjoyed on their own as a tangy and flavorful snack.

4. Eggplant Chips

If you’re looking for a healthy and delicious alternative to potato chips, try making your own eggplant chips. Here’s how:

  • Begin by slicing roughly six medium eggplants into thin rounds.
  • In a large bowl, sprinkle your choice of spices to taste, such as oregano, paprika, or celery salt.
  • Drizzle olive oil over the eggplant slices, and toss them gently to coat them evenly.
  • Place the slices in a dehydrator until they become crisp. Alternatively, you can use a very low oven if a dehydrator is not available.
  • Once the eggplant chips have cooled, sprinkle them with salt and pepper if desired, and store them in an airtight glass container.

Eggplant chips make a tasty, healthy, and satisfying snack that you can enjoy guilt-free anytime.

5. Eggplant Jerky

For a unique and flavorful twist on traditional jerky, try making your own eggplant jerky. Here’s how:

  • Start by slicing three medium or four small eggplants lengthways, ensuring they are no more than 1/8 inch thick.
  • In a bowl, mix 1/2 cup of teriyaki sauce, 2 tablespoons of water or orange juice, and a pinch of chili flakes to taste.
  • Marinate the eggplant slices in the mixture for at least two hours, allowing them to soak up the delicious flavors.
  • Place the marinated slices in a dehydrator or a very low oven until they are completely dry.

Eggplant jerky is a tasty and healthy snack that can be enjoyed on its own or added to salads and sandwiches for an extra burst of flavor.

6. Eggplant In Olive Oil

Preserving eggplants in olive oil offers a convenient way to enjoy their flavor and infuses the oil with the taste of the eggplants. Follow these steps to preserve eggplants in olive oil:

  • Start by peeling 1.5 pounds of whole eggplants and slice them into 1/2 inch strips. Cut the strips in half if desired.
  • Boil the eggplant strips in a mixture of white wine vinegar and water for about 4 minutes. This step enhances the flavor and preserves the texture of the eggplants.
  • After boiling, dry the eggplant strips well and sprinkle them with oregano to add an extra layer of flavor.
  • Place the prepared eggplant in sterilized jars, packing them tightly.
  • Pour olive oil over the eggplant, using a sufficient amount to completely cover them.
  • Use a sterilized knife to remove any oxygen bubbles from the jar, seal the jars with lids, and immerse them in boiling water for at least 30 minutes to ensure a proper seal.
  • The preserved eggplant jars can be stored in a cupboard for up to six months.
  • Once opened, it’s best to refrigerate them and consume within seven days.

Preserved eggplants in olive oil can be used in various dishes, such as pasta sauces, antipasti platters, or even as a flavorful topping for pizzas.

Note: To preserve eggplants in olive oil:

  • Peel and slice the eggplants
  • Boil them in white wine vinegar and water
  • Sprinkle with oregano
  • Pack in sterilized jars and pour olive oil over
  • Remove oxygen bubbles and seal the jars
  • Boil the jars in water for 30 minutes
  • Store in a cupboard for up to 6 months
  • Refrigerate and consume within 7 days after opening.

7. Stuffed Eggplants With Garlic And Yoghurt

If you’re looking for a unique and exotic way to preserve eggplants, try stuffing them with garlic and yogurt. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Start by selecting small Italian eggplants for this recipe.
  • Boil the eggplants for 8-10 minutes until they are tender, then let them cool down completely.
  • Once cooled, slit the eggplants and rub some salt inside. Let them sit overnight to drain any excess liquid.
  • In a food processor, blend walnuts, garlic, Greek yogurt, and salt until you have a smooth mixture.
  • Push the mixture into the slits of the eggplants, ensuring they are evenly filled.
  • Place the stuffed eggplants in a sterilized jar and cover them with olive oil.
  • Keep the jar in the refrigerator for at least two weeks to allow the flavors to meld together before opening and enjoying.

Stuffed eggplants with garlic and yogurt make a delicious and unique addition to any appetizer platter or mezze selection.

8. Eggplant Bacon

For those interested in alternatives to traditional bacon, eggplant bacon is a great option. Here’s how you can make it:

  • Start by slicing the eggplant into thin strips, similar in shape and size to bacon.
  • Place the eggplant strips in a dehydrator or a very low oven until they become crispy.
  • Once cooked, you’ll have a tasty and savory alternative to bacon that can be used in sandwiches, salads, or even as a garnish for soups.

Eggplant bacon provides a smoky and flavorful touch to dishes while also offering a healthier option.

Remember that there are many other ways to preserve eggplants:

  • Freeze them
  • Roast and puree them
  • Pickle them
  • Make chips or jerky
  • Preserve them in olive oil
  • Stuff them with garlic and yogurt

So, go ahead and try one or more of these methods to enjoy the delicious taste of eggplants all year round.

What is the best way to preserve eggplant?

One alternative method for preserving eggplant is by pickling it. After cutting the eggplant into one-inch-thick rounds, soak them in a vinegar mixture for a few hours. Then, transfer the slices into sterilized jars and cover them with a brine made from vinegar, water, sugar, and spices. Seal the jars tightly and store them in a cool, dark place. The pickled eggplant can be stored for several months and can be enjoyed as a tasty addition to salads, sandwiches, or antipasti.

Another way to preserve eggplant is by dehydrating it. After baking the eggplant rounds until they are tender, let them cool and then slice them into thin strips. Arrange the strips in a single layer on a dehydrator tray and set the temperature to the recommended setting for vegetables. Allow the eggplant to dehydrate for several hours or until it becomes leathery and dry. Once fully dehydrated, store the eggplant strips in an airtight container or vacuum-sealed bags. These dehydrated eggplant strips can be rehydrated by soaking them in water or broth before using them in recipes such as stews, stir-fries, or pasta dishes.

What can I do with too many eggplants?

When faced with an abundance of eggplants, why not try pickling them? Slice the eggplants into thin rounds and combine them with a brine made from vinegar, sugar, and spices. Let the mixture sit for a few days to allow the flavors to develop, then enjoy the tangy and flavorful pickled eggplant slices as a garnish for sandwiches, salads, or as a side dish. Another creative option is to make eggplant chips. Slice the eggplant into thin strips, season them with your choice of herbs and spices, then bake them until crispy. These homemade eggplant chips make a delicious and healthy snack alternative!

How do you preserve raw eggplant?

To preserve raw eggplant, start by washing and cutting it into desired slices or cubes. Next, blanch the eggplant by briefly boiling it in water for a few minutes, then immediately transferring it to an ice bath to cool. Once cooled, pat the eggplant dry and place it in airtight containers or freezer bags, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Label and date the packages, then store them in the freezer. This method helps retain the eggplant's texture and flavor, making it perfect for future use in soups, stews, or stir-fries.

Another preservation method is to dehydrate the eggplant. Slice the eggplant into even thicknesses and arrange the slices on dehydrator trays. Set the dehydrator to a low temperature, around 135°F (57°C), and let it run for several hours until the eggplant slices are completely dried and crispy. Once dehydrated, transfer the slices to an airtight container or mason jar, making sure to remove any excess moisture. Store the dried eggplant in a cool, dark place and rehydrate as needed by soaking the slices in water or broth before incorporating them into your recipes. This preservation technique allows for long-term storage of eggplant while maintaining its unique taste and texture.

Can you freeze or preserve eggplant?

Preserving eggplant can be a convenient solution to extend its shelf life. Freezing is an effective method to preserve eggplant, allowing you to enjoy its deliciousness even beyond its limited time frame. By blanching the eggplant before freezing, you can maintain its texture and flavor. Once thawed, the eggplant can be used in a variety of dishes, from stir-fries to casseroles, providing a burst of flavor and adding a vibrant touch to your meals. Freezing eggplant gives you the chance to savor this versatile vegetable whenever your taste buds desire, even if it's been weeks since you last bought one.