Mediterranean Roasted Parsnips

Gilt ended platter with roasted red onion flowers and parsnips, lentils, cherry tomatoes, lemon and garlic cloves

Sweet caramelised roasted parsnips and red onion flowers, blistered cherry tomatoes paired with thyme, zesty lemon and salty capers. Mediterranean flavours with roasted parsnips may sound like an unusual combination, but it works.  The balance of salt, sweet and sour with nutty lentils served together make a delicious autumn side salad or a hearty full flavoured main.

If you are your own home made preserves, you could add pickled nasturtium or rowan berry capers to your dish.

Mediterranean Roasted Parsnips


  • 400g parsnips
  • 2 medium size red onion
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 medium size lemon
  • 1 – 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil + extra for drizzling
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1 bulb garlic, cloves separated
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cooked lentils


Preheat oven 180ºC.

Peel red onions, trim off any roots. Cut in half, then quarters or eighths, drizzle with olive oil.  Season with sea salt and thyme.

Scrub parsnips, cut in half and quarter lengthwise.  If they are large remove the woody core.

Wash and cut the lemon into thin wedges and remove any seeds.

In a mixing bowl, add lemon wedges, parsnips and thyme, then drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and lemon juice, toss to coat. Season with sea salt and pepper.

Line a baking tray, spread ingredients evenly, place cut red onion flowers onto the tray. The onion flowers should have a little space around them, because they will open up. Bake for 40 minutes.

Half cherry tomatoes if they are large, otherwise leave whole. Put into a bowl with cooked lentils, capers, 1 tbsp lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil, then season to taste. Add to the parsnips after 40 minutes of roasting and cook for another 10 minutes.

Chef’s tips – use an oven to table baking dish to minimise washing up. 

If cooking your own lentils. 120g raw lentils = 240g cooked (1.5 cups). Roughly equivalent to 1 tin of drained brown lentils.

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