Chef Carter Were Makes Peas With Feta & Herbs on Toast

Images by Amelia Fullarton

In this week’s feature we’re back in the Northern Rivers visiting the home of excellent chef and mother of two Carter Were. We love Carter’s approach to food which is simple, colourful and delicious – influenced greatly by her time spent in Greece. Carter’s home is equally as colourful, filled with beautiful pieces collected over the years. We asked Carter to show us around and also took away a recipe for her signature Peas with Feta & Herbs on Toast.

We have very  recently moved to a small town called Lismore in Northern New South Wales. My partner, Jack, and I bought our first home together for our family. We have two daughters, Patience (2) and Dorothy (1). We moved about a month ago after a few small renos like knocking a wall out, changing the lighting and painting the inside and we still haven’t finished unpacking yet. We moved from the countryside to suburbia which I feel is the opposite of what people are doing right now. But for us, it’s nice to be close to shops and markets with the girls and having neighbours and cars drive by makes me not feel so lonely! Our place is also nice and light and has a view over Lismore which makes it feel more spacious than it is.

Carter Were’s bed is dressed in IN BED 100% linen.

Carter’s bed is dressed in a 100% linen duvet, pillowslips, fitted & flat sheet in tobacco.

“There are many special things in this home but in particular I love my Te Ariki wool blanket from New Zealand because it reminds me of home. My Alvar Aalto kitchen table because it’s the first thing I ever spent a big chunk of money on but it’s where we spend most of our time as a family eating meals and will have it forever.”

There are many special things in this home but in particular I love my Te Ariki wool blanket.

“ I think the best thing [about living in Northern NSW]  is actually still being able to swim at the beach in winter! We always go to the same stretch of beach at Belongil because there’s always a park and it never feels too busy! Now that we are a bit further away from Byron, we will probably spend more time around Lennox Head and Ballina beaches.”

“I’ve never studied  and always worked in cafes since I left school. I moved to Sydney when I was 19 and stayed for a few years and then went back to New Zealand. I opened a shop with my friend, Sophie, who is a florist. I baked bread and served simple breakfast and lunch with bread and toppings. I also made pickles and cookies and served coffee and tea. I had my shop for about three years and when Soph and I both outgrew the space decided to close and I went travelling. I interned in a kitchen at a villa in Tuscany for a few months and then found myself back in Byron. I met Jack and fell pregnant very quickly and then decided to write a cookbook with Harry. Now I have 2 babies and am working on another book but really I’m a full time mum at the moment.”

“Harry and I always wanted to work on something together. She takes amazing photos so I wanted to have something printed with her that we can look back at when we are old. We worked on the book over a few years because she lives in New Zealand  so we could only shoot when we were together. It was a bit tricky because I travelled around Europe for a few months with a 10 month old and a few months pregnant with my second and I was trying to edit it at the same time (with help from my brothers who were also in NZ). I lost my phone so I just had a hard copy printed out and was scribbling notes on it and taking photos on Jack's phone and sending it back to them. It all worked out in the end and now we are working on a second, except Covid is slowing things down and I now am trying to juggle two toddlers.”

Harry and I always wanted to work on something together.

“Today I’m making Peas and feta on toast. This was one of my most popular toppings at my shop and easy to put together.”

Peas with Feta and Herbs on Toast

Frozen peas, 2 cups
Herbs, 2-3 handfuls chopped
Spring onion, 1
Lemon juice, 1 tbsp
Olive oil, 2 tbsp
Feta, 1/2 cup
Salt and pepper to taste

Carter Were kitchen featuring an IN BED organic cotton tea towel.

Carter uses an IN BED organic cotton waffle tea towel in navy.

Defrost the peas by leaving them out of the freezer overnight, as the peas will keep their bright green colour for longer. If you forget, empty them into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave them for 5 mins, then strain and shock in ice water and strain again.

Put all the ingredients save the feta in a bowl and squish the peas with your hands to break them up a bit, then add the feta, crumbling it as you go. Season with salt and pepper squeeze of lemon juice or more olive oil if you want. Serve on buttered toast.

It’s best to make this fresh as it doesn’t keep to well, but if you have leftovers, I eat them on pasta the next day.