Recipe: Sexy Vegan Caponata


This recipe from the creative new title The Sexy Vegan Cookbook: Extraordinary Food From an Ordinary Dude by Brian L. Patton caught my eye because my CSA farm share this week was bursting with eggplant, bell peppers, and zucchinis and Patton’s Caponata incorporates all three in a luscious sauce. He recommends it as a topping for grilled seitan or pizza. I served it over quinoa and was in veggie heaven. Basically, anything you would ordinarily serve with tomato sauce will be kicked up a notch by this delicious combo. Anyone else out there whipping up seasonal feasts with their CSA or farmers’ market hauls? Lemme know about it in the comments!


Caponata from

The Sexy Vegan Cookbook: Extraordinary Food From an Ordinary Dude

By Brian L. Patton


Makes 4 Cups




6 large ½-inch-thick rounds peeled eggplant


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, sliced

4 medium shallots

½ pound cremini mushrooms, halved

2 cups diced zucchini

1 cup diced red bell pepper

¼ teaspoon chili flakes

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

2 cups tomato sauce

½ cup chopped pitted kalamata olives

2 tablespoons capers, drained

2 cups drained freshly cooked cannellini beans or one 15-ounce can, rinsed and drained

1 tablespoon fresh basil chiffonade



Before you do anything else you’ve got to salt your eggplant. This removes excess water and bitterness. Place your eggplant rounds in a colander in the sink, and dust both sides generously with salt. Let them sit like this for 90 minutes, then rinse and pat dry, and dice them.

In a large pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, shallots, and a pinch of salt. When the garlic slices become slightly brown around the edges, add the mushrooms, zucchini, bell pepper, eggplant, chili flakes, oregano, and a pinch of salt, and stir. Cook for 6 minutes, or until the veggies become soft, then stir in the tomato sauce, olives, and capers. Simmer for 8 minutes. Finally, stir in the beans and basil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Excerpted with permission from The Sexy Vegan Cookbook: Extraordinary Food from an Ordinary Dude ©2012 by Brian Patton. Published with permission of New World Library http://www.newworldlibrary.com

Emily Rems is a feminist writer, editor, rock star, playwright, and occasional plus-size model living in New York’s East Village. Best known as managing editor of BUST magazine, Emily is also a music and film commentator for New York’s NPR affiliate WNYC, and is the drummer for the horror-punk band the Grasshoppers. Her nonfiction writing has appeared in the anthologies Cassette from my Ex and Zinester’s Guide to NYC, and her short stories have been published in Rum Punch Press, Lumen, Prose ‘N Cons Mystery Magazine, Writing Raw, and PoemMemoirStory. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for fiction in 2015 and is working on a novel. Follow her on Twitter @emilyrems.

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