I know eggplant is one of those vegetables that tastes wonderfully fresh, but sometimes you get more than you can eat. If you love eggplant and want to preserve some of your harvest, you’ll be pleased to know that there are many delicious ways to do it.
Even better, you can try one or all of these methods and decide which one is best for you. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it, right?
Let’s look at your options for preserving wonderful eggplants so that the harvest lasts as long as possible.
- 1 1. Freeze
- 2 2. Roast and Puree
- 3 3. Fridge Pickled Eggplant
- 4 4. Eggplant Chips
- 5 5. Eggplant Jerky
- 6 6. Eggplant in Olive Oil
- 7 7. Eggplant Stuffed with Garlic and Yogurt
- 8 8. Eggplant Bacon
- 9 9. Roasted Pickled Eggplant
Many people think that eggplant is not suitable for freezing as it defrosts all soft and squishy. This isn’t true if you do it right, and it’s a convenient, fuss-free way to freeze.
- Cut the eggplant into 1/4 inch slices.
- Boil water in a pot and blanch the slices for five minutes.
- Remove and submerge in ice water to cool immediately.
- Place the slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer.
- After five to six hours, the slices should be hard. Remove these and place them in a sealable container.
SignalDo not skip drying and keeping slices in a single layer and freezing. If you put the slices directly into the sealable bag they will stick together in one unsightly blob. If they are too wet after taking them out of the water, simply pat them dry with a paper towel.
These defrosted slices are perfect for eggplant parmigiana, breading and frying, or moussaka.
If you don’t like the fuss and want to freeze your eggplants immediately after cutting, you can. In my opinion it’s best to blanch the slices before freezing, but if you don’t want to or are pushed for time, don’t worry about it.
Simply slice and freeze in a single layer on a cookie sheet before placing in a plastic bag or freezer-proof container. This is one of the fastest ways to preserve eggplant.
2. Roast and Puree
You will freeze this mixture, but the process is different from above because it is suitable for different recipes that you will use chopped and frozen pieces. It is perfect for dips and sauces. Think cheese and crackers with eggplant dip. yum!
- Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and place skin-side down in the roasting dish.
- Drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Add grated garlic if desired.
- Roast at 400ºF for about 40 minutes or until the inside is soft.
- Let the meat cool before taking it out and placing it in a freezer-proof container.
When it’s time to use it, simply defrost and add to any dish that uses pureed eggplant.
Signal: After you have preserved your eggplant, store it in containers the size of the quantity needed for your meal. Once it is defrosted it cannot be frozen again and if you do not use it it tends to deteriorate in consistency and appearance after a few days in the refrigerator.
3. Fridge Pickled Eggplant
Over the years, I’ve tried many different methods and recipes for making eggplant pickles and this one is by far the most convenient and has the fewest amount of ingredients. The taste is amazing. This is a refrigerator marinade, so it needs to be kept cold and will not last for years. Don’t worry though, once people start eating it it won’t last long.
- Thinly slice 3 medium brinjals and spread them in a single layer in a colander. Sprinkle very lightly in salt and add another layer and more salt. Repeat the layers and salt until you run out of eggplants.
- Place the colander in the sink and place a plate to lay it down for an hour or so to get rid of excess moisture that may fit inside.
- Bring 2/3 cup red wine vinegar and 1/3 cup water to a boil in a pot.
- Add eggplant to it and boil it for two minutes.
- Take out the brinjal and put it in a bowl, add ground garlic and 1/2 tsp carom seeds according to your taste. Keep the liquid boiling.
- Place the eggplant in a clean jar. A lot of boiling liquid will go so tightly packed and add more liquid to get rid of any air gaps and bubbles. Make sure no brinjals are oozing out over the liquid.
- Store the jar in the refrigerator.
Signal: Place whole cloves of garlic in a jar or chili for extra heat.
4. Eggplant Chips
Tired of paying high prices for healthy vegetable chips in the supermarket? Make your own with eggplant! With a dip, they’re heavenly. If you don’t want to have a can or jar to preserve your eggplant, this is an excellent option.
- Cut about 6 medium brinjals and place them in a bowl. Choose your spices. I use oregano, paprika and celery salt. Sprinkle liberally to taste.
- Drizzle over olive oil, toss and place in dehydrator until crisp.
- Let the chips cool and sprinkle with salt and pepper if necessary.
- Store in an airtight glass container.
Signal: Use the spices or herbs you love. If you are on a low salt diet, skip the salt.
5. Eggplant Jerky
Love the jerky texture, but don’t want the meat or chemicals in store-bought products? Use your eggplant and, because it is dehydrated, it keeps longer.
- Cut three medium or four small eggplants lengthwise to no more than 1/8 inch thick.
- Combine 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce, 2 tablespoons water or orange juice, and a pinch (to taste) chili flakes in a bowl.
- Add the eggplant slices and let it marinate for at least two hours.
- Place the slices in your dehydrator until dry or in a very low oven for hours. If you’re using your oven, keep it at 115ºF for five to six hours, or until the eggplant is jerky.
- Store in an airtight glass container.
Signal: Instead of teriyaki sauce, try soy sauce or any other traditional jerky flavoring you like.
6. Eggplant in Olive Oil
This is a traditional way for many people to preserve their eggplant. The jar can be stored in a cupboard for up to six months. Once opened keep refrigerated and use within seven days.
- Peel 1.5 pounds whole eggplants, like potatoes. Slice into 1/2-inch strips and then cut the strips in half.
- Add 14 fl oz. white wine vinegar and 25 fluid oz. Put water in a pot and bring it to boil.
- Add the eggplant and simmer for about 4 minutes. Take it out and keep it on a paper towel to dry. Sprinkle liberally with oregano.
- In sterilized, but cold jars, add eggplant, leaving about 1/4 inch at the top. Add olive oil to cover the eggplant completely. Use a sterilized knife to move the eggplant around to remove the oxygen bubbles.
- Seal with a lid and immerse in boiling water for at least 30 minutes. Use a canning rack or towel on the bottom of your pot to keep the jar from cracking or breaking.
- Make sure the lid is pop in or store in the refrigerator.
Signal: Use caution with all your other canned dishes (for example, please make sure your pots and jars are sterilized) or have someone show you how.
7. Eggplant Stuffed with Garlic and Yogurt
This is one of the thinnest eggplant recipes I’ve tried. You need small Italian eggplants, so if those are the type you grow you’re in for a treat.
- Take 10 to 12 Italian eggplants and remove the stalks. Boil them in water for 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the size. Try and choose all of them similar in size for consistency.
- Remove from water and let cool so that you can handle them. Slip to one side, not cutting past the center. Rub a little salt inside and let sit overnight to remove excess liquid.
- The next day, in a food processor, add a cup of walnuts and 6 cloves of garlic and beat a couple of times until the mixture becomes liquid. Add a cup of Greek yogurt and a pinch of salt and pulse again a couple of times.
- Take 2 tablespoons of this mixture and push it into the brinjal into the pieces you made. Place in a sterilized jar and repeat with remaining eggplant.
- Next, pour the olive oil into the jar making sure the eggplants are covered. Seal and put in the fridge for two weeks before opening.
Signal: If you like pita bread or fresh breads and dips, these eggplants are perfect.
8. Eggplant Bacon
If you’re a vegetarian, vegan, or just looking for a bacon alternative then this eggplant bacon is for you. This involves dehydrating your vegetables so it lasts longer on your shelf.
- Cut six medium length brinjals and place them in a bowl. Sprinkle four teaspoons of garlic powder and onion powder and seven teaspoons of paprika.
- Place the strips in the dehydrator until they become crispy. Store them in an airtight container and fry them like bacon when ready.
SignalTry adding different spices. Like black pepper bacon? Add some black pepper to your eggplant before dehydrating. If you like your bacon sweet, try a little brown sugar.
9. Roasted Pickled Eggplant
While steamed pickled eggplants are lovely, if you’re craving something a little different, try roasting your eggplant first. Pickling is a tried-and-true way to preserve eggplant because it’s quick and delicious.
- Cut your eggplants into strips and place them on a baking sheet along with a few whole, peeled garlic cloves.
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle everything with salt.
- Roast at 425°F for 30 minutes or until the strips are cooked through.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley and pack in a sealable jar. Pour white vinegar into the jar so that the marinade is covered.
- Store in refrigerator for two months.
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Idea Source: morningchores.com