2 pounds leeks, pale green and white parts only (or use 1 pound leeks and 1 pound cooked vegetables like carrots, potatoes, summer squash, beets, zucchini)
2 scallions, trimmed, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
FOR THE CREAM:
½ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch freshly grated lemon zest
Fill a pan or a bowl with cold water. Halve leeks lengthwise, then swish gently in water, fanning out layers to loosen any grit. Slice crosswise into 1/4-inch strips. (If using cooked vegetables, slice into 1/4-inch strips and add to bowl in Step 3.)
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook leeks 3 to 4 minutes, until softened but not limp. Drain and wring dry in a towel. Transfer leeks to a large bowl and add scallions. In another bowl, whisk together flour, 1 teaspoon salt, baking powder, a few grinds of black pepper and cayenne. Add to leeks and stir. Add egg and stir.
Heat oven to 200 degrees. In a large heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat until shimmering. Drop heaping tablespoons of leek mixture into skillet and lightly flatten with the back of a spatula. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes; if cooking too quickly, lower the heat. Flip fritters and cook until golden on the other side, another 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and transfer to oven. Repeat with remaining leek mixture, adding oil and adjusting heat as needed.
When fritters are cooked, make cream: whisk all ingredients together and season to taste with salt. Serve warm fritters in stacks, with a dollop of cream on top.
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