Assemble this fall salad for company

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There is a salad for every season. Spring salads are fresh and delicate, a tumble of baby leaves, new shoots and springy buds. Summer brings vibrant salads that are juicy, sunny and refreshing. Fall leans into the cooler weather and hunkers down with heft and substance. Each salad has a place at the seasonal table, celebrating the timely bounty and satisfying our cravings.

This salad is an unabashed fall salad. It brims with a mountain of kale leaves mingling with almonds, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds, bound together by a robust balsamic vinaigrette. Some may turn up their nose at raw kale, but there is a solution for that: The key is to tame the cruciferous leaves by rubbing them. Call it a massage, if you like, but it’s not as high-maintenance as it may sound. Using your fingers, toss the leaves, while rubbing to coat them with a little olive oil, lemon juice and salt. This exercise softens the sturdy texture and earthy flavor of the leaves without wilting or bruising them. You can do this step hours in advance of assembling the salad, and the leaves will remain fresh in the refrigerator without wilting, making it a perfect salad for entertaining.

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