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Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the beets on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle the oil over top. Use your hands to toss them in the oil. Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until they can be priced using some pressure with a fork.
Add the walnut halves to a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Let them cook until they are fragrant and start to brown in places, shaking the pan frequently. Pour over the maple syrup and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Let them cook, stirring constantly, until the maple syrup has almost evaporated, about 1 minute. Remove the walnuts from the pan and place them on a piece of parchment paper, separating them from each other as much as possible.
Add the kale, candied walnuts, and, if using, the cheese or avocado to a large bowl. When the beets come out of the oven let them cool slightly then add them to the bowl too. Pour the dressing over top and toss well so that everything is coated.
Combine all the ingredients EXCEPT the oil in a medium-sized bowl. Slowly add the oil in a thin steady stream while whisking the dressing constantly. If the oil starts to build up at all stop pouring it and whisk the dressing vigorously. It will take you about 1 minute to whisk in the oil. Taste the dressing and season it with extra salt, to taste.