By Karin Calloway

Karin Calloway is a working mom living in Augusta, Ga., with multiple freelance jobs and a ton of dirty dishes.

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Cranberry "Panna Cotta" on Mixed Greens with Cranberry-Port Vinaigrette

Many American holiday meals include some sort of gelatin mold, especially those served on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here’s an updated way to include a giggly salad on your holiday table with a bit of a gourmet twist.

This Cranberry Panna Cotta is easy to make with the help of cranberry-flavored gelatin and sour cream. Panna Cotta isn’t complete without vanilla, and it is present here from a whole vanilla bean that’s added to the gelatin.

The panna cotta is served atop a salad of crisp greens tossed with a Cranberry-Port Vinaigrette that starts with sautéed pancetta and shallots. The vinaigrette gets extra port flavor from port wine vinegar, but you can substitute balsamic vinegar if that’s what you have on hand. A little pure vanilla extract adds a special hint of vanilla.

Cranberry Panna Cotta

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 vanilla bean 
  • 1 package (4-serving size) cranberry flavored gelatin  
  • 1 cup sour cream
Place the water in a small saucepan. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the water. Add the bean to the water and bring to a boil. Remove the vanilla bean stir in the gelatin until completely dissolved. Whisk in the sour cream. Mix well. Pour into 8 (4-ounce) ramekins or muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Chill 2 hours or until set.

Cranberry-Port Vinaigrette

  • 3 slices pancetta, chopped
  • 1/3 cup minced shallots, about 2 large shallots
  • 1 cup Port wine
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon port wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cook pancetta in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Add shallots and sauté over medium-high heat until tender, about 3 minutes. Add Port and cranberries and bring to boil, scraping any browned bits. Boil until cranberries are soft and liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the vinegar and vanilla. Set aside to cool before tossing with the greens.


  • 9 cups mixed baby greens
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
Place greens in large bowl. Toss with some of the dressing. Divide greens among 6 plates. Sprinkle with bacon and blue cheese. Top with 1 of the Cranberry Panna Cottas and serve.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.