Many fall to think over how to save eggplants for the winter. They are harvested in different ways: in the form of preservation, eggplant caviar, even frozen. A less rare method of harvesting eggplants is to dry, although a large amount of useful substances is stored in the vegetable. In our country, this method of harvesting the "little blue" is not very common, but in Turkey or Italy, dried eggplants can always be found in stores.
You can dry eggplants as well as carrots, dill and parsley in a city apartment. This process is not complicated at all and everyone can choose the most convenient method of drying "blue ones" for themselves.
How to dry eggplants?
Only ripe eggplants are suitable for drying, without damage and signs of rotting. It is advisable to choose fruits with thin skin, and in overripe flesh becomes hard, the seeds are large, so these eggplants are not suitable for drying in the winter.
You can make dried blanks with different tastes from eggplants using special marinades and spices. If desired, gourmets can make dried eggplant with bacon flavor and in the winter serve a thin straw as a snack.
Before cooking, dried eggplants should be soaked in water and then cooked like mushrooms.
Dried eggplants "meat"
4 small fruits or 2 large peeled and cut into thin strips. For convenience, they use a sharp knife or use a special attachment on a vegetable cutter. If the eggplant is very large, the strip can be further cut into 2 or 4 pieces.
Now we need to prepare the marinade, which in a separate bowl mix half a cup of olive oil, one-third cup of soy sauce or apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of honey, a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepperand a teaspoon of paprika.
Prepared eggplants are poured with marinade and left for 2 hours. Next, the strips are patted with paper towels and laid out in an electric dryer. At a temperature of 40 degrees strips of eggplant dried for about a day. Dried eggplants are ready when they have a characteristic crunch.
Dried eggplants “like mushrooms”
Eggplants cooked for the winter taste very much like mushrooms, and the appearance sometimes is misleading.
For this method of drying only young eggplants are suitable, which contain a minimum of seeds. Washed fruits are cleaned and cut into thin circles. The blanks are carefully strung on a thread and spread low on a baking sheet.
How to dry eggplants in this form? Simply. The oven is heated to 160 degrees and hold the eggplant for about 10 minutes, not longer. Next, low eggplants are removed from the oven and hung in a dry place for final drying.
Dry eggplants should be poured into glassware or fabric bags.
Salted dried eggplants
Eggplants can be dried with pre-food processing. Peeled fruits are cut into rings of medium thickness and sprinkled with salt, leaving them for 15 minutes. This is the standard way to eliminate excess bitterness from the pulp.
Next, the eggplant rings are washed in water and placed in boiling water for 5 minutes. The hot rings are shifted to cold water and the already cold ones are thrown back onto the sieve to drain excess water.
Next, the eggplants are laid out on a baking sheet and sent to the oven for drying, keeping them for 5 hours at a temperature of 60 degrees.
For consumption, these dried eggplants are soaked in water, after which they are fried.
How to dry eggplants in an electric dryer or oven?
If there is an electric dryer in the house, it will not be difficult to stock up on a sufficient amount of dried eggplants. The instructions for such a device have detailed information on the method, temperature and drying time.
In an oven, eggplants are dried a little differently. First you need to prepare the fruit, for which they are washed, dried with a towel and cut off the stem. Next, the "blue" cut into the same thickness in slices. It is important that the workpiece withered evenly during drying.
Eggplant slices are laid out on a baking sheet so that they are freely spread over the entire surface. The oven is preheated to 200 degrees and placed in it a baking sheet with the blank. After an hour of drying, the temperature is reduced by half and held for another 4 hours.
How to store eggplants dried in an electric dryer or oven? It is best to put them in a glass container under the cover, which will preserve the natural taste. If dry eggplants are stored in cloth bags, they are kept away from strongly smelling foods.
Dried eggplants in the open air
As in previous methods of drying, eggplants need to be prepared - wash and dry thoroughly. The flesh is cut into thin strips( the peduncle is removed) and laid out on a baking sheet so that the slices lay without contacting each other. Baking set in a place protected from the sun, where there are no drafts. For even drying, eggplants should be turned over, and the drying process itself will take about 5-6 days. To prevent dust and other debris from falling on the eggplants, cover the baking sheet with gauze in one layer.
Cutting eggplants for drying
The methods of slicing eggplants before drying depends on what dishes will be prepared from such a piece.
If in winter you cook caviar or stews from dried eggplants, cut the fruits for drying in small cubes. Such a billet dries well at room temperature for 3-4 days. Faster drying will be in the oven, which will take only 4 hours.
- Eggplant straws.
This is the optimal form of eggplant for making salads and soups. Peeled eggplants are rubbed on a grater with large holes and the resulting mass is laid out in a thin layer on clean paper or fabric. Store such a blank in fabric bags away from products with a strong aroma.
- Half dried eggplant.
In Turkey and Italy, this form of eggplant is used for stuffing stuffing. To dry, the flesh is cut from each half, leaving a wall 0.5 cm thick.
- Drying whole eggplants.
In this case, use small fruits that hold for a long time in the open air. A well-dried eggplant has a shatter of seeds when shaking.