Aubergine is one hell of a versatile ingredient that shows up in a range of cuisines around the world from Persia to Italy. But what do you do if you only need half an aubergine for a recipe? What do you do with the leftovers?
Can You Freeze Aubergine?
Yes, you can freeze aubergine for up to 6 months. With aubergine being so incredibly versatile, there is actually a range of ways in which you can freeze aubergine. You can freeze it raw, cooked, grilled or in dishes.
Can You Refreeze Aubergine? No
Does Aubergine Freeze Well? Yes
How to Freeze Aubergine
This is the perfect method for freezing aubergine if you use them in rounds in dishes or breaded and fried.
- Prepare for Blanching
First, bring a pot of water to a rolling boil as you’ll want to blanch your aubergine to kill off any bacteria. Next, prepare a pot of ice-cold water which you’ll use as part of the blanching process to stop any further cooking taking place.
- Prepare Your Aubergine
Now it’s time to prepare your aubergine. Please don’t do this first as they will turn brown before you get round to blanching them. Peel your aubergine of its tough skin, top and tail and then slice into rings.
Tip the slices into the boiling water and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from the water and immediately tip into the ice-cold water to prevent it from cooking any further.
- Flash Freeze
Take a baking tray, line it with greaseproof paper. Once the aubergine has cooled, lay them on the tray in one spaced-out layer. Flash freeze for a few hours.
- Final Freeze
Remove from the freezer, and if the aubergine is frozen solid on the outside, you can tip them into a freezer bag to store.
How to Freeze Cooked Aubergine
If you prefer to use roasted aubergine in your dishes such as in curries or stir-fries, then this is the method for you:
- Roast It
Peel then cube your aubergine into bite-sized pieces. Toss is with olive oil to ensure it is coated evenly then season with salt, pepper, and other spices you fancy. Roast in a preheated oven at around 190°C for 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown.
- Cool It
Remove from the oven, allow to cool and pat with a kitchen towel to remove any of the excess oil.
- Flash Freeze
Once cooled, lay them out on a baking tray in a single layer and place in the freezer to flash freeze for several hours.
- Final Freeze
When the aubergine cubes are frozen solid, you can tip them into a freezer bag to store.
How to Freeze Aubergine Dishes
Now you know how to freeze both uncooked and cooked aubergine. But there’s further good news because you can freeze ready-to-go aubergine dishes which we’ve outlined below:
How to Freeze Aubergine Moussaka
If you want to freeze your favourite aubergine dishes (probably moussaka or parmigiana), this is the method you follow. Don’t worry – it’s not time-consuming at all:
- Make Your Dish
Make your aubergine dish as you normally would as if you were going to eat it tonight – that includes baking it. Once cooked, allow it to cool completely at room temperature. Please don’t put it in the fridge to cool.
- Protect It
Once the dish has cooled, first cover it in clingfilm. You then need to cover it in foil. These layers will keep it protected, will stop other odours getting in and should prevent freezer burn.
Place the dish into the freezer and allow to freeze.
No, really… That’s all you need to do.
How to Freeze Aubergine Dip
Even people who claim to hate aubergine would struggle to turn down a bowl of baba ganoush with some warmed pitta bread. Its smokey deliciousness is addictive. If you want to freeze aubergine dip or puree then this is what to do:
- Make Your Dip
Make your dip as you normally would. Usually, this involves cutting an aubergine in half and roasting in the oven until soft and creamy then scooping the contents into a food processor with other ingredients to create your dip. This dip recipe from Jamie Olive is particularly delicious.
- Bag it
Aubergine dip made? Now it’s time to get to freezing it. All you need to do is pour the dip into freezer-safe bags. When you seal the bags up, try to remove as much excess air from the bags as possible.
- Freeze It
Finally, place the bags in the freezer. Try and freeze it in portions so you don’t need to defrost the whole lot to enjoy it.
Finally, a freezing method that doesn’t involve too much faffing!
4 Tips for Freezing Aubergine
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 4 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing aubergine to have the best results:
Use in Dishes
Unfortunately, aubergine that has been frozen won’t be suitable for use on its own, grilled on a BBQ for example. Instead, you’ll want to use it in a dish to mask the textural change.
Consider Your Use
If you think you’ll use your aubergines in rounds or deep-fried in breadcrumbs, simply blanch and freeze it. If you think you’ll use it roasted or in curries, then you’ll want to cook it before freezing. That’s why you need to think about how you’ll use it.
Freeze in Meals
One of the best ways to freeze aubergine is in ready-to-go meals. This will provide you with time-saving meals throughout the week.
Blanching is Essential
If you’re freezing your aubergine uncooked, then blanching is essential. It will prevent the textural changes from being too dramatic and will lock in the flavour.
How Long Can You Freeze Aubergine?
Whether it’s roasted, blanched, pureed or prepared as a dish, aubergine will keep in the freezer for around 6 months. As always, ensure you label anything you freeze with a clear use-by date so you can keep things well organised in your freezer.
You Can Freeze Aubergine for Around 6 Months
How Do You Defrost Aubergine?
If you’re using frozen aubergine slices or frozen roasted aubergine then the good is that you don’t even need to defrost them. Simply stir into the dish you’re cooking or use in a moussaka, for example, and continue as you normally would.
The heat from the cooking will be enough to thaw them out.
As you can imagine, a dip cannot be eaten straight from the freezer. Plan when you’re going to eat your aubergine dip and then place in the fridge overnight to thaw slowly and safely.
This is the same for any aubergine dish you have made. Allow it to thaw slowly overnight in the fridge and then reheat in the oven until piping hot in the centre.
Can You Refreeze Aubergine?
We would rarely recommend refreezing anything, and aubergine is no exception to this rule. Freezing, thawing and then refreezing it can completely ruin the texture.
There is, however, a small exception to this rule. You could refreeze cooked aubergine if it were previously frozen uncooked.
For example, if you freeze raw aubergine, defrost and then make parmigiana with it then you can freeze this cooked parmigiana with no issues.
Does Aubergine Freeze Well?
This comes down to texture. When the aubergine is frozen then cooked, it will usually release water which can then make it a little slimy. If you’re quite particular about the texture of your aubergine then fresh will always be better.
Having said that, freezing aubergine is better than throwing it away so if you want to save your aubergine for later in the month then freezing will still work fine for you.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing paneer or paneer in general, then these may help:
Yes, it’s easy! Make your parmigiana as normal then allow it to cool. Once cooled to room temperature, wrap the tray in foil and cling film and then place it into the freezer. Alternatively, cut it into portions and store these in airtight containers before freezing.
You can, but make sure you don’t cook it too much when grilling it. Once frozen, you’ll then need to thaw it out. And then you’ll need to heat it which will inevitably cook it somewhat.
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