Eggplants belong to the nightshade family, which also includes sweet peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and tobacco. Though commonly thought of as a vegetable, the eggplant is actually a fruit. Eggplants are large, pear-shaped and dark purple in color. They have a soft, spongy texture and mild flavor. Purchase eggplants during the months of August through September, when they are in season. Eggplants have a short shelf life and should be consumed or frozen within two days of purchase. Peel, slice and blanch fresh eggplant prior to freezing.
Things You'll Need
Wash eggplant thoroughly. Peel off the skin with a vegetable peeler.
Use a sharp knife to cut off each end of the eggplant. Cut peeled eggplant into 1/3 inch slices.
Add 4 tsp. salt to 1 gallon of water and bring to a boil. Use a metal spoon to lower eggplant slices into boiling water. Cover pot with lid and let boil for five minutes.
Pour blanched eggplant into a fine-mesh strainer. Allow to drain completely for about 20 minutes.
Place cooled eggplant slices onto sheets of waxed paper. Pack sheets of eggplant into freezer bags. Ensure air is removed from bags before sealing. Put bags into freezer.
Add blanched eggplant slices to a large bowl of ice water to speed up the cooling process. Frozen eggplant will last for approximately six to eight months.
References and ResourcesColorado State University; Freezing Vegetables; P. Kendall; March 2008
The World's Healthiest Foods: Eggplant
University of Illinois Extension: Watch Your Garden Grow: Eggplant