Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F with a rack set on the middle shelf.
Reserve 6 cups of the smaller kale leaves (2 inches or smaller). Thinly slice the remaining kale and place in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1 tablespoon of the vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Use your fingers to gently massage the kale until it starts to slightly wilt, 1 to 2 minutes.
Place the reserved kale leaves on a baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Season very lightly with salt and pepper. Bake until the kale starts to crisp and the edges on some leaves just start to brown, 12 to 15 minutes, gently flipping the kale halfway through.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large saute pan over medium heat until crispy and most of the fat has been rendered, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined. Turn off the heat and remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook in the residual heat until the garlic has softened, about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in the remaining vinegar and the maple syrup. Slowly whisk in the remaining oil. Season with salt.
Remove the kale from the oven and let sit for at least 5 minutes so that it continues to crisp as it cools.
To assemble, gently toss the wilted kale, black-eyed peas, almonds, shallots and crisped bacon with the vinaigrette. Top with the crispy kale. Serve immediately.
From Food Network Kitchens