Italian Lettuce Wraps with Chilled Orzo

Use Italian meats and orzo in these lettuce wraps for a taste of Italia.

by Dani Yokhna
Lettuce Wraps with Italian Chilled Orzo

Good lettuce varieties to use for wraps are looseleaf types, such as Salad Bowl, Red Sails, Simpson and Oakleaf.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings



  • Several large, pliable lettuce leaves, rinsed and patted dry
  • 12 ounces (about 1¾ cups) orzo or other small pasta
  • 1½ cups finely chopped Italian cured meat, such as prosciutto or salami cotto (or use your favorite ham)
  • 1/2 cup mixed green and black olives, chopped
  • 3 T. chopped fresh basil
  • 2 T. chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 T. finely grated Parmesan


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

In a large kettle of boiling, salted water, boil the orzo, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until it’s just tender. Drain, rinse under warm water and allow to drain well before transferring to a large bowl. Add the chopped meat, olives, basil, parsley and Parmesan, and toss the mixture until well-combined.

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Combine dressing ingredients in jar with tight-fitting lid and shake briskly. Pour over orzo mixture, stir to combine, cover and chill salad for at least an hour.

Make sure lettuce leaves are as dry as possible. To roll salad mixture in lettuce leaves, place a line of salad about one-third of the way down from the narrowest end of the leaf, roll tightly and secure with a toothpick if necessary. Lettuce leaves vary in size, so experiment to find the right amount of filling: an amount that will make a plump-yet-manageable wrap.

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