honey thyme roasted parsnips & pears

We all have our favorite go-to’s for weeknight dinners. One of those go-to meals in our house is pork shoulder chops cooked on the barbie over charcoal & served with roasted sweet potatoes & a green salad. It’s simple & delicious, taking little effort to prep & cook. Pork, wild boar & other wild meats are not only my favored meats to cook but also to pair veggies & other sides with. That’s how this perfect side of roasted parsnips & pears was dreamt up – I wanted something a little out of the ordinary that would be fabulous with a piece of pork butt I was roasting. 

roasted parsnips

In season at the same time, parsnips and pears team up perfectly together. And when roasted they become sweet & caramelized. This is one of those recipes that requires very little effort but has maximum rewards. 

raw parsnips

Parsnips are often overlooked in favor of their cousin, the carrot. Unlike carrots, parsnips are only best eaten cooked, but they’re higher in sugar than carrots so they sweeten beautifully when roasted. They’re an excellent source of fiber & antioxidants & a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B’s & minerals. When roasted they’re delicious with fall/winter fruits such as pears & apples. And they marry brilliantly with woodier herbs such as thyme & rosemary.

pears

You rarely find pears soft & ready to eat at the markets & grocery stores. This is because those thick stems would damage the delicate fruit if they were shipped ripe so they’re always picked & shipped while they’re still firm. If you can muster some patience (something I have very little of) & give them a week or so to ripen, you’ll be duly rewarded. Once ripe they’re so sweet & juicy. Pears are loaded with fiber – one pear is about 20% of your recommended fiber intake for the day. They’re also very easy to digest making them a good fruit choice for elderly people, babies & those suffering from any sort of inflamed bowel issues. If you’ve ever had any time in hospital, you might have seen them on the menu thanks to their easy digestibility & they’re hypoallergenic for most people. They’re also inexpensive & readily available almost year-round but are best in the cooler months. And like apples, they go from sweet to savory effortlessly. I love them…a ripe juicy pear is one of my favorite fruits. For this recipe, you want them to be ripening but not soft as they need to retain their shape when roasted.

roasted parsnips

Once the parsnips & pears are roasted then I drizzle a mixture of melted butter & honey over them & pop them back into the oven for a few more minutes. The results, I promise you, are absolutely delicious. 

roasted parsnips

Serve this out-of-the-box side with your Christmas dinner. Or with roasted pork, pan-fried or grilled pork chops, roasted turkey, goose, pheasant or wild boar. And if you’re making a sauce to accompany the meal – which I hope you are, then add some brandy, chicken stock & either pear butter or juice to the sauce & let it simmer & thicken. Sensational! 

roasted parsnsips & pears

honey thyme roasted parsnips & pears
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
  1. 2 lbs (907g) parsnips, peeled & quartered (if the parsnips are large, cut them into 6 or 8 pieces)
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 3 rosemary sprigs
  4. 6 to 8 thyme sprigs
  5. pinch salt & freshly ground pepper
  6. 4 medium-small pears, peeled, cored & quartered
  7. 2 tablespoons honey
  8. 2 tablespoons butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine parsnips, olive oil, rosemary, thyme, salt & pepper on baking sheet; toss to combine. Roast 35 minutes.
  3. Add pear; toss to combine. Cook 20 minutes. Melt honey & butter together in a microwaveable dish. Add to parsnip mixture; toss to combine. Cook 10 minutes or until parsnips are pears are golden & sticky. Remove rosemary & thyme stalks.
The Fresh Aussie http://thefreshaussie.com/
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  1. […] ago I won a lovely box of pears from the terrific people at Northwest US pears. They chose my honey thyme roasted parsnip & pears recipe as a winner in a competition they were having on Instagram. Exciting! Even […]

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