Give Lettuce Wraps An Italian Twist

Make stone ground mustard and herb spiced lettuce wraps with garlic, oregano and tomatoes

Wayne Johnson

Lettuce wraps are traditionally made with an Asian spiced filling.  But, I thought i'd experiment and give mine a bit of an Italian flavor.  So, using a stone ground mustard and herb spiced pork tenderloin, I added garlic, oregano, tomatoes and mozzarella.  It makes a nice combination of fresh and cooked ingredients with a dipping sauce for a little extra flavor.

Italian Lettuce Wraps
makes about 6-8 appetizer servings



3 tbl Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cu Vegetable Stock, or chicken stock
1 1/2 tbl Molasses
3 tbl Stone Ground Mustard

Pork Mixture

Small Pork Tenderloin, about 1 1/2 lb, rinsed and patted dry, you'll only use half for this recipe.
2 tbl Stone Ground Mustard
1 1/2 tbl Pork Spice Mix (ingredients below)
1/2 tbl Olive Oil
1 lg Yellow Pepper, seeded and diced
1 sm Red Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, peeled and smashed
1 cu Grape Tomatoes, halved
1/2 cu Fresh Mozzarella, cut into pieces about the size of the tomato halves
1 1/2 tbl Fresh Oregano, roughly chopped
Salt and Pepper, to taste

1 head Iceberg Lettuce, leaves separated


Whisk sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Stir at a rolling boil for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and strain.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place tenderloin on a baking sheet and liberally cover all surfaces with the grilling spice mix.  Cover the spice mix with the stone ground mustard.  Roast tenderloin to an internal temperature of 150 degrees F in the thickest part, about 40 minutes. Cooking times vary depending on the size of the tenderloin and actual oven temperature.  It's always best to use a thermometer to test for doneness.

Remove the tenderloin from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.  Slice half the tenderloin into 1/2" slices and then chop into bite size pieces.  You can use the entire tenderloin for this dish if you want a "meat eaters" version (or are feeding a big crowd).  Or, you can save half and slice it for sandwiches.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat.  Add onions and sauté for about 2 minutes.  Add garlic, yellow pepper and half of the oregano and sauté until just tender, about 3 minutes longer.  Remove from heat.  Toss together tenderloin, sauteéd vegetables, tomatoes, remaining oregano and mozzarella.  Season with salt and pepper and serve with lettuce leaves and sauce.

Tip: An easy way to separate the lettuce leaves is to run water into each outer leaf layer until it pulls away.


Pork Grilling Spice Mix


5 1/2 tsp Paprika

3 1/2 tsp Black Pepper

1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

1 1/2 tsp Cumin

1 1/2 tsp Oregano

1 tsp Salt

1 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

1 1/2 tsp Onion Powder

1 tsp Cayenne Pepper

2 1/2 tsp Brown Sugar

Mix ingredients together and either grind in spice grinder or in a mortar and pestle.  Store in an airtight container.

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