Remove ribs from kale by slicing down each side of the rib with a knife. Then, chop kale leaves into bite size pieces and add to a large bowl. Massage kale leaves for one minute - lightly knead and scrunch leaves with clean hands until kale appears slightly darker and more tender. Add cranberries and almonds to kale and set aside.
In a separate bowl, add olive oil, dijon mustard, maple syrup, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine, then pour over kale and gently toss until salad is evenly coated. Serve immediately.
This recipe will make six side salads, or four larger lunch-sized salads.
8 ounces kale = about one bunch of kale from the grocery store.
Almonds can be substituted with chopped walnuts or pecans.
Maple syrup can be substituted with honey or other liquid sweetener. I do not recommend omitting the sweetener, as it balances the tartness of the lemon.
Salad is best enjoyed the same day, but will keep for two or more days in the refrigerator as a leftover.
If making ahead, prepare salad and vinaigrette in separate bowls, then toss salad in dressing just before serving.