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Crispy Orzo with Artichokes and Lemon

This crispy orzo is a wonderful spring dish. Artichoke hearts, lemon, goat cheese and herbs all topped with a sprinkling of crunchy prosciutto.
5 from 17 votes
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  • 3 cups cooked orzo
  • 4 ounces prosciutto
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 12 ounce jars artichoke hearts, drained (and chopped if you wish)
  • 1 lemon, zest grated and juiced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 to 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • fresh mint or herbs for garnish


  • If you haven’t cooked the orzo yet, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook 1 ½ cups according to the package directions. This is usually to boil for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the prosciutto and cook until crisp and golden, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the prosciutto and place it on a paper towel to cool. Prosciutto does not render as much fat as bacon, so you will most likely need olive oil here. If you use bacon instead, there may be enough fat in the skillet to cook the orzo. Ideally you want about 2 tablespoons.
  • In the same skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. Add in the shallots and the garlic with a pinch of salt and stir. Cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Add in the orzo and toss well. Press the orzo into an even layer in the pan so it covers the entire bottom. Let it cook and crispy for a few minutes, then toss and repeat the process, pressing it into the bottom of the pan to cook. You want to do this a few times over, until the orzo is a bit crisp and golden in color.
  • Once the orzo is finished, add in the artichoke hearts. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Turn off heat.
  • Crumble the goat cheese into the orzo and toss. Stir in the fresh mint. Crumble the prosciutto on top and serve immediately.

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