Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, 1 teaspoon of salt, ginger, and bay leaf, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender and translucent, about 6 minutes.
Add the rice and cook until it begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the water along with the lemon zest. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Pull from the heat and set aside for 5 minutes undisturbed. Fluff with a fork season with some pepper and serve.
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