I had an over-abundance of eggplant this season. Thankfully I planted the “little fingers” variety which resulted in small thin eggplants.
I added a lot to tomatoes (and peppers) to make sauces, which I froze in freezer bags. But my freezer was getting full, so I searched for a better, more compact way to preserve eggplant.
Yay! Oven drying (or dehydrating if you are lucky enough to own a dehydrator) to the rescue, similar to the process I used for my tomatoes.
First, I chopped the eggplant into smaller pieces. I used my “Vidalia Chop Wizard” – I’ve had this gadget for years. I don’t use it every day, but when I need small, even pieces, it works well. It’s very loud though, when you push down on it.
I scattered the eggplant pieces on a shallow grill sheet pan (included with my countertop oven) covered with parchment paper.
Drying at about 150° in my smaller counter top oven, it took a couple of hours. The pieces should be dried, but not rock hard.
I allowed the eggplant to cool for a few minutes, then scattered them on a large dish and put into the freezer to “flash-freeze” – this ensures they stay as individual pieces when bagged later. I’m storing in freezer to add to winter soups and sauces!
I’ve oven dried several batches of eggplant, and just kept adding to the freezer bag.