Sweet corn, juicy tomatoes, smoky bacon, and fragrant basil make a superb summer salad.  Serve with grilled chicken, fish, or steak and crusty bread for sopping up the juices.

Summer succotash

Makes about 7 cups, serving 6-8

4 thick or 6 thin slices bacon

1 1/2 lbs. fresh shell beans in pod (or use 1 1/2 c. shelled, frozen lima or soybeans)

1 small sweet onion, finely chopped

Kernels from 4 ears fresh corn (about 4 c.)

1 1/2 lbs. tomatoes, seeded and chopped

10 basil leaves, thinly sliced

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Salt and freshly ground, black pepper, to taste

Cook bacon in a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat until crisp.  Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.  If you’re using fresh beans, shell them while the bacon cooks.  If you’re using frozen beans, pour a kettle of boiling water over them to thaw, then drain.  Place beans in a large mixing bowl.

Pour off all but 2 tbsp. fat from skillet, raise heat to medium-high, and cook onion and corn with a pinch of salt until just tender, about 4 minutes.

Add onion and corn, tomatoes, basil, and vinegar to bowl with beans.  Crumble in bacon.  Toss well, taste, and season with pepper and additional salt, as needed.  Serve immediately.