For Easy-to-Chew and Soft Diets:
1. Place the rice in a blender and blend for about 20 seconds or until the grains are coarsely cracked (about the size of bulgur wheat). Set aside.
2. Place the margarine or butter in a 2½-quart pot and melt over medium heat. Add the onion, cover, and cook for about 2 minutes or until the onion has softened. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 15 seconds.
3. Add the reserved rice, broth, milk, and sage to the pot, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rice is soft and the mixture is thick.
4. Stir the Parmesan cheese and parsley into the risotto. Add more milk if the mixture seems too dry (it should be moist and creamy), and serve hot.
For Smooth/Puréed Diets:
In Step 1, process the uncooked rice in a blender for about 45 seconds, or until it has the texture of grits or coarse cornmeal. Then cook as directed above, adding more liquid as needed. If a perfectly smooth texture is required, transfer the cooked risotto to a food processor and process until the mixture is smooth, adding milk as needed.
For a Change:
• About 5 minutes before the risotto is done, stir in 1 cup of finely chopped fresh spinach. Cook and stir until the spinach is wilted.
• When the risotto is completely cooked, stir in 1 cup of finely chopped soft-cooked leftover vegetables, such as cauliflower or broccoli.
• When the risotto is completely cooked, stir in ¾ cup chopped or ground tender roast chicken.