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CHEF'S SECRETS

Party Tricks From Rimini

December 15, 1991|ROSE DOSTI | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Take some mozzarella and a slice of prosciutto and package them inside a lettuce leaf. You now have the makings of a good party snack--and one of the more popular dishes at Regatta in Santa Monica.

It's the creation of executive chef Rino Brigliadori, a native of Rimini, on Italy's Adriatic Coast, who, since his arrival in the United States 15 years ago, has cooked in Washington (Embassy of the European Common Market), New York (Parioli Romanissimo) and Dallas (Splash).

"This dish was a result of experimentation," Brigliadori says. "First I grilled some lettuce and added cheese. Then I tried rolling the combination and baking it but it was too runny. Grilling the roll finally did the trick. I've been serving it ever since."

REGATTA MOZZARELLA AND PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED IN LETTUCE

6 romaine lettuce leaves

6 thin slices bufala mozzarella

6 thin slices prosciutto

Olive oil

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Blanch lettuce leaves. Pat dry on paper towels.

Roll 1 slice mozzarella into tube shape. Wrap 1 slice prosciutto around mozzarella. Cut tough stem ends off romaine and wrap softened lettuce around prosciutto-mozzarella roll. Repeat procedure to make 6 rolls.

Brush rolls with olive oil. Grill 8 to 10 minutes, until golden on all sides and cheese melts slightly. Serve with drizzle of Balsamic Vinaigrette. Makes 6 rolls.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons virgin olive oil

Salt, pepper

Combine vinegar and oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes about 1/2 cup.

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