Eggplant, also known as aubergine, has a flavor similar to that of zucchini but a much spongier texture. It can be used in a multitude of dishes from eggplant Parmesan to roasted eggplant and eggplant soup. Freezing eggplant when it is in season lets you use the fruit year-round without having to pay exorbitant prices for it when it is out of season.
Select eggplants that are dark and firm. This indicates they are very fresh and will make the best candidates for freezing. Wash thoroughly under cool running water.
Slice ¼ inch off of each end. Peel if desired. Some people find the skin to be bitter and always peel their eggplant, while others like the flavor and never remove the peel. If you prefer to peel yours when you are using them fresh, peel the eggplant before freezing.
Cut eggplant by slicing it into 1/3-inch thick slices. You will be blanching the slices in a large pot, so prepare only the amount of eggplant that will fit in the pot for one blanching. It will begin to discolor after 30 minutes.
Boil water in a large pot, adding 1/2-cup of lemon juice for every gallon of water to prevent discoloration. Place the eggplant in the boiling water and boil for four minutes.
Fill the sink with cold water while the eggplant is boiling. When the four minutes is done, remove the eggplant, and place it in the cold water so it does not continue to cook.
Place the eggplant on paper towels to cool and drain. Package the eggplant in plastic freezer bags and place in the freezer. Eggplant will keep in the freezer for six to nine months if you purchase a good quality plastic freezer bag. If you want it to keep in the freezer longer, vacuum-packed eggplant can be frozen for up to 14 months.
Annabelle Lee has been working in the journalism field since 1990. She was a teacher and yearbook adviser for four years and holds two associate degrees from her local community college where she currently teaches computer classes. Lee also writes for a local newspaper and was a proofreader for McGraw-Hill.