If you’re faced with an abundance of eggplant, store it in the freezer. While you can freeze it raw, blanching it first better preserves the taste and texture of the fruit. Cold temperatures cause the cell walls to rupture and moisture to increase, so it’s best to use frozen eggplant, blanched or raw, in dishes in which you don’t mind if the fruit doesn’t hold its shape. Traditional black, globe eggplants freeze more successfully than thin, lighter-skinned Japanese or Thai varieties.

Freeze eggplant raw, but don’t thaw before using — cook it from a frozen state. Add to pasta sauces or chop into ratatouille.

Wash and thoroughly dry the eggplant.

Cut it into rounds and lay them flat on a baking tray. Slide the tray into the freezer.

After several hours, check the eggplant and when it is frozen solid, pile all the slices together in a freezer bag for storage. Use it within 3 months for the best quality.

Tips

Peel the eggplant before freezing for the best results.

Blanched eggplant freezes successfully and may be used for cooked dishes such as eggplant Parmesan.

Wash, dry and peel the eggplant and cut it into rounds.

Boil a large pot of water and add about 1 lemon’s worth of juice to discourage the eggplant’s browning — or about 1/2 cup of juice per gallon of water.

Place the eggplant slices in the boiling water for about 4 minutes.

Drain the eggplant and place it into a bath of ice cold water until cold. This helps prevent overcooking.

Drain the cold eggplant completely — let it sit in a colander for about 3 minutes.

Lay it flat on a baking sheet and slide into the freezer until solid; then, place into freezer bags for long-term storage. Blanched eggplant may be preserved this way for as long as 9 months.

To freeze eggplant suitable for eggplant Parmesan, crust the boiled slices before freezing. Run them through a breading procedure after they’re dry. Each slice should be dipped in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Lay them flat on a baking sheet to freeze. When frozen, they can be consolidated in a bag — but be careful not to crush the slices.

Freeze roasted and peeled eggplant in large batches to use in baba ganoush or other pureed preparations. Roast the entire fruit in the oven — prick with a fork first — and then scoop out the flesh for freezing. The frozen, roasted eggplant is good for up to a year.