Zucchini Schnitzel

Fresh, thick slices of summer squash make unusual but no less delightful crispy schnitzel, topped with shipka hot peppers.

Serves 6

ZUCCHINI SCHNITZEL is excerpted from ISRAELI SOUL © 2018 by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook. Photography © 2018 by Michael Persico. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.


  • 2 large zucchini
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Hawaij Spice Blend (see Note)
  • 2 cups matzo meal
  • 2 teaspoons plus a pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil


Step 1

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, then in half crosswise. In a shallow baking dish, beat the eggs with the hawaij. Place the zucchini in the dish and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or up to overnight.

Step 2

Place the matzo meal in a shallow dish and stir in the 2 teaspoons salt. Dredge the zucchini in the matzo meal and set aside.

Step 3

Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, one or two pieces at a time, and cook until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels, transfer to a plate, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Serve hot in pitas with avocado, tomato, and za’atar, or on a platter with yellow rice and chopped salad.

Cook Notes

Hawaij Spice Blend: Combine 1/4 cup ground turmeric, 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper, and 2 tablespoons ground cumin in a small bowl and mix well. Store in a covered jar (makes 1/2 cup).

SHIPKA HOT PEPPERS are native to Bulgaria and, because they’re bright orange, are sometimes called Bulgarian carrot peppers. Legend has it that the seeds were smuggled from behind the Iron Curtain in the 1980s. The pale green pickled shipka peppers are now ubiquitous on Israeli condiment bars. They pack about the same heat as jalapeños and are great with fried foods like falafel and, of course, schnitzel.

photo by Michael Persico