Eggplant as a stand-alone dish doesn't respond well to freezing. With porous, spongy flesh combined with natural tannins, you inevitably end up with a thawed piece of mushy vegetable matter with a bitterness that overtakes its nuanced flavor. But prepared eggplant dishes like baba ghanoush can handle it. The lemon juice in baba ghanoush neutralizes the tannic bitterness and preserves color, and, since it already has a pureed or mashed consistency, you won't notice a change in its texture after thawing. Straining the baba ghanoush before freezing it helps minimize the formation of ice crystals.
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Let the baba ghanoush cool to room temperature if warm. Stir the baba ghanoush several times to cool it faster.
Spoon the baba ghanoush into a mesh strainer or sieve lined with two or three layers of cheesecloth. Set the strainer over a bowl and place it in the refrigerator.
Chill the baba ghanoush until cold throughout, or for about 30 minutes. Transfer the baba ghanoush to a heavy-duty freezer bag.
Squeeze as much air as you can from the freezer bag and seal it. Lay the bag on a sheet pan or plate and smooth it as flat as possible. Place the pan or plate in the freezer.
Chill the baba ghanoush until frozen throughout -- for 45 minutes to one hour. Remove the pan from the freezer and mark the date on the bag. Store baba ghanoush up to three months in the freezer.
Things You'll Need
Mesh strainer or sieve
Heavy-duty freezer bags
To thaw baba ghanoush and retain the best consistency, set it out at room temperature for about 15 minutes or until you can break it apart by hand. Then allow the baba ghanoush to finish thawing in a strainer lined with cheesecloth to drain the water left by the ice crystals.