In a deep, heavy-based pot, cover the beans with 6 to 8 cups cold water. Add the bay leaves, onion, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, skimming any foam that rises to the surface. Cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 75 minutes; let cool in the broth. (Refrigerate the cooled beans in the broth if holding for more than a few hours; bring to room temperature before assembling the salad.)
Drain the beans, discarding the onion and bay leaves. In a serving bowl, combine the beans with the corn, tomatoes, scallions, and chile. In a small bowl, stir 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper into the lime juice and then add the olive oil, whisking to combine. Add this dressing and the cilantro to the bean mixture, stirring gently until well combined. Let sit for 15 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed. Serve at room temperature.
nutrition information (per serving):
Photo: France Ruffenach