I really love this kale salad anytime I have kale. I love it the most with either lacinato or green curly kale, though it could work with any kind of kale. Here's my basic kale salad, and variations below.
1-2 bunches kale
2 T. Balsamic vinegar
2 T. olive oil or avocado oil
1 T. maple syrup
Handful of dried bing cherries
Handful of sliced or slivered almonds
De-stem kale, chop small, and put in a large bow. In a jar with a lid, add vinegar, oil and maple syrup. Shake vigorously until well combined. Pour dressing over the kale, and "massage" it into the kale. Yes, massage with your bare hands! This helps break up the kale and get the dressing into the leaves. Let sit for 10-30 minutes. Add cherries and almonds on the top just before serving.
Dressing ideas: you can use any kind of vinegar, oil or sweetener you have. Vinegars could be apple cider vinegar, white balsamic, rice vinegar or others. Sweeteners could be honey or sorghum, or even black cherry juice. You can also add herbs and spices to the dressing, or even a spoon full of hummus to thicken it up!
Accents: Think fruit, nuts/seeds or a couple select cheeses.
Fruit: Dried cranberries, dried blueberries, raisins, fresh blueberries or sliced strawberries all work well.
Seeds/nuts: pepitas, pine nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, chopped hazlenuts, slivered or sliced almonds or whatever you like!
Cheese: feta cheese, or goat cheese would both work
Other: if you want your kale salad to have more of a bite rather than a sweetness, you could omit the sweetener and add mustard to your dressing, radish slices, garlic scapes, green onion, shredded carrots or other veggies chopped small.
As you can see, with kale salad you can get creative! Let me know what you like!