How to preserve eggplant now as summer ends and fall hints at making her appearance. All these beautiful pieces of eggplant goodness, but really how many times can one eat eggplant Parmesan in a month? Let me clue you in on three ways to preserve eggplant that result in wow’s every time!
How to Preserve Eggplant With Olive Oil
One of my favorite ways to preserve eggplant includes lots of garlic and dried chilies smothered in olive oil. Simple yet delicious. You can choose to either cook your eggplant first or dry by salting. I believe it will last longer if you cook it however. This quick video shows you an overview of how to preserve eggplant with olive oil.
Ingredients Used To Preserve Eggplant In Olive Oil
- Black pepper
- Chili peppers
- Wine Vinegar
- Celery Seed
Peel (or not) your eggplant. Slice into smaller pieces. The smaller the pieces, within reason, the more area for the seasonings to be absorbed. Sprinkle with salt then let sit on paper towels for an hour or so. Dry and pack into jars with olive oil in them. She says 1/2 full, but I think you could put a lot more eggplant in using way less olive oil. Covering the eggplant with olive oil for preservation is the goal.
A Little Twist
She also doesn’t cook the spices in vinegar before adding to the jar. This makes the pickling process take longer in my opinion. The way I do it involves putting wine vinegar in a pot adding the spices I like. Then plopping the eggplant pieces in for about 5 minutes. No salting or skinning in my world. Drain the eggplant. Put them in a jar packed pretty tightly and cover with olive oil.
It will keep this way for 3-4 months in your fridge so long as the olive oil covers the eggplant and hardens. If you are only interested in it keeping for a couple weeks in your fridge add some garlic cloves you used while pickling them in the vinegar. And also some olives are nice, maybe some parsley for color. Even bell pepper strips or onions added at the boiling stage could be incorporated into the jar.
DON’T KEEP EGGPLANT WITH OTHER STUFF IN THE JAR LONGER THAN A COUPLE WEEKS IN YOUR FRIDGE
How To Preserve Eggplant by Freezing
Freezing eggplant might seem a little like a no go but you would be wrong. Actually quite an easy process it only requires peeling, cutting, blanching then lay it out on a cookie sheet to freeze. How simple is that? Once they freeze solid put them in a ziplock baggie. I like to put a straw in the bag after sealing it most of the way, then suck out the rest of the air as I pull out the straw. This way there isn’t much oxygen in the bag before going back into the freezer. This method will give you eggplant for another six months of so.
You might try freezing a variety of sizes of eggplant pieces. That way you can enjoy fresh eggplant Parmesan when you want it. Though still be able to make those lovely olive oil marinated with other veggies for gifts during the holidays. Nothing says I love you like homemade, right?
How to Preserve Eggplant by Pickling
Preserving eggplant by pickling makes for the most self stable form of preserving eggplant.
Theresa preserves her eggplant this way.
I was watching another video about canning eggplant but it was long and they used vegetable oil which kind of put me off. Vegetable oil is sooo bad for you. At any rate they did have a rather unique method of drying the eggplant. After rinsing the brined eggplant they put it in a clean pillowcase. Then ran it through the dryer on low. Or you could always just do it they way Theresa does.
Make sure to use 5% vinegar for the cooking process. You also need to be sure to boil the jars and lids. That is what makes the sealing process work. These should be shelf stable for at least 6 months.
Let me know your results! As the Italians say Bon Appetitto!