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Toasted Orzo with Preserved Lemon, Pine Nuts & Currants


Adapted from Sally Schneider’s A New Way to Cook


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2 3/4 cups water
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 T. chopped preserved lemons
  • 2 T. toasted pine nuts
  • 2 T. Zante currants plumped in hot water and a splash of vinegar, then drained
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a large skillet or a medium heavy saucepan, cook the butter over moderately low heat until the solids sink that sink to the bottom are golden brown and the butter smells like roasting nuts. Add the orzo, increase the heat to moderate, and sauté, stirring constantly, until the orzo is golden and about one third of the grains are dark brown. Stir in the water and salt and bring to a boil.
  2. Cook at a low boil until the orzo is tender and most of the water has evaporated, about 11 minutes. There should be a light creamy “sauce” binding the orzo and making it slightly soupy. Add preserved lemons, pine nuts, currants and pepper to taste. Serve immediately — the consistency of the dish changes as soon as it cools down. It’s best when eaten right away.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes