This week, I’m stepping aside to shine the spotlight on a very talented friend of mine, Chef Edouard Massih. Edy — a Lebanese chef, caterer, entrepreneur, and founder of Edy’s Grocer in Brooklyn — started out working as my culinary assistant. We found each other after he had graduated from The Culinary Institute of America.
Having run my own successful catering shop, Flavors Catering & Carryout, I brought him under my wing and taught him all about what it takes to navigate the vast world of catering in New York City.
Edy and I worked very closely over the years. We collaborated on recipes and learned from one another. We’ve become more like family since then. Born in Lebanon and inspired by all of the flavors of the Middle East, Edy went on to make a name for himself as a caterer and private chef. When the pandemic hit and his business suffered, like so many of ours did, he kicked into high gear and turned his dream of owning his own Lebanese market into a reality.
In August of 2020, Edy’s dream came to fruition when he took over the lease of his favorite local sandwich spot, immigrant-owned Maria’s Deli. Maria and Edy had become friends over the years and she promised him the space if she were ever to retire. It took a global pandemic for Maria to pass the torch, but when she did, Edy was ready!
Since opening day, Edy’s Grocer has thrived and received all kinds of much-deserved local and national praise. Not only did Edy emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever, but he brought a little part of Lebanon to Greenpoint, Brooklyn – a neighborhood known for its heavy immigrant population.
Edy’s store has become a one-stop-shop for everything from prepared Lebanese dishes to imported Lebanese spices, oils, candy, clothing, and everything in between. I absolutely love what Edy has done with his space! Last summer I made a trip out to Brooklyn to visit Edy’s Grocer and it was so amazing to see how everything has come together. I’m so proud of him!
Because I love you all so much, I’ve decided to bring you in on three of Edy’s favorite recipes: Fattoush salad, Za’atar-Spiced Chicken Thighs, and Rosewater Grilled Peaches.
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 ice cubes
- 2 tbsp sumac plus more for sprinkling
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 head Bibb lettuce cleaned and roughly chopped
- 2 Roma tomatoes diced
- 3 Persian cucumbers diced
- 2 radishes thinly sliced into rounds
- 3 scallions white and green parts, thinly sliced into rounds
- In a blender, puree the oil, lemon, ice cubes, sumac, and Kosher salt until well combined. In a large bowl, toss the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, and scallions. Dress the salad with the vinaigrette and finish off with a sprinkle of sumac.
Za’atar-Spiced Chicken Thighs
- 1/4 cup za'atar
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 lbs chicken thighs boneless and skinless
- scallions thinly sliced, for garnish
- fresh mint leaves for garnish
- Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix all the ingredients besides the chicken until well incorporated. Add the chicken and marinate for 20 minutes.
- Place the chicken on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 12-15 minutes, until cooked through but still juicy. Serve on a platter garnished with scallions and mint.
Rosewater Grilled Peaches
- 4 peaches, cut in half and pit removed
- 8 oz. fresh ricotta
- 2 tbsp rosewater
- 1 lemon zested
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 4 tsp honey plus more for drizzling
- dried rose petals for garnish
- Preheat your grill on high heat. Spray with nonstick grill spray.
- Grill the peaches, cut side down, for 4-5 minutes, then flip and grill for an additional 2 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, rosewater, lemon zest, salt, and 4 teaspoons of honey.
- Let the peaches cool, then spoon the ricotta into the grilled peaches. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle the dried rose petals on top.
I know you’ll love Edy’s recipes as much as I do. Please do yourself a favor and plan a trip to Edy’s Grocer if you haven’t already! If you stop by for lunch, chances are you’ll see Edy working his magic behind the counter.