Duck Fat Roasted Parsnips with Thyme: Day 9 of Whole30

Duck Fat Roasted Parsnips with Thyme
It’s day 9 and I’m starting to get a bit jaded. There are only so many variations on meat and vegetables you can handle before you start to crave something different. This is where my parsnips came in to save the day yesterday.

Slashing a number of food groups out of your diet isn’t easy as you have to funnel all your creativity into quite a narrow focus. I am now starting to look beyond the simple salads and greenery that I have been relying on for the past 9 days and that has now led me to re-examine parsnips. This is a root vegetable I have always liked but for some reason they don’t appear in my kitchen at any other time save Christmas where they are lumped in with the roasties.

I thought I would introduce the parsnip into my diet this week in its most simple form as it is how I have always cooked them, roasted with duck fat. What the Whole30 lacks in food group variety, it makes up for in the quality of the foods you are allowed and including duck fat as part of a healthy eating plan seems a little excessive but it’s as natural a cooking agent as you will get. It was also sheer happenstance as I had a huge jar of it knocking around my fridge from a duck we had roasted for Sunday lunch a couple of weeks ago.

I accompanied the parsnips with a simple roast chicken, steamed kale and carrots. It was nice to give a bit of an occasion to the parsnips, letting their sticky sweet earthiness shine through the other humbly prepared veg. It was hardly the most summery of dishes but then as I look outside this is hardly the most summery of Mays.

Duck Fat Roasted Parsnips with Thyme | Stroud Green Larder

Duck Fat Roasted Parsnips with Thyme
Serves 2 as a side

4 parsnips
2 tbsp duck fat
A couple of sprigs of thyme

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Peel the parsnips, then cut into three pieces widthways.  Then cut the pieces in half lengthways.
  3. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil then add the parsnips. Bring back to the boil then turn down to a simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Place the duck fat on a baking dish into the oven to melt and warm it up.
  5. Drain the parsnips then tip into the baking dish with plenty of salt, black pepper and a couple of sprigs of thyme, turn so every parsnip is completely coated with the duck fat.
  6. Roast for about 45 minutes, turning the parsnips over a couple of times, until they are golden.

Roasted Aubergine and Courgette with Sumac and Herbs

These easy Roasted Aubergine and Courgettes are sprinkled with sumac and tossed with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon before serving. A wonderful vegetable dish which can be eaten hot or as part of a salad buffet.

Roasted Aubergine and Courgette with Sumac and Herbs

This is an excellent standby week night meal which takes moments to prepare. The vegetables don’t even need peeling, just minimal chopping and then 30-40 minutes roasting in the oven.

Aubergines and courgettes are often misunderstood vegetables as they seem difficult to cook correctly. Sometimes with watery or oily results.

However this recipe is so easy and absolutely foolproof that aubergines and courgettes will become your absolute go-to veg choice when you are looking for a quick meal.

courgette and aubergine3

Why this recipe works so brilliantly

  • Minimal prep time so ideal if you need a hands off dinner.
  • The sumac, fresh herbs and lemon balance out the richness of the roasted vegetables.
  • You can make ahead as this dish is just as good eaten at room temperature.
  • Roasted Aubergine and Courgette can accompany a variety of different meals.

If you need more veggie side dishes then why not try:

English Mint Potato Salad
Garlicky Slow Braised Tomato and Aubergine
The Best Homemade Coleslaw

courgette and aubergine

Do you need to salt aubergines?

Yes and no. Years ago aubergines were much more bitter so they required salting to make them more palatable. The bitterness has been bred out of them now though so there is no more need to salt for that purpose. However, aubergines do soak up a lot of oil when cooking so salting them prior to cooking helps the aubergine to absorb less oil.

I’m happy to report though that there is no need to salt the aubergines in this recipe. We are looking for speed here.

TIP:  If you feel the end result is too oily then you can pat the vegetables dry with clean kitchen paper before tossing with the herbs and lemon.

What is Sumac?

Sumac is popular in middle eastern cooking. It has a tart lemony flavour. Lovely sprinkled over salads, grilled meats or vegetables.

Here it adds a tanginess to the roasted vegetables, cutting through the richness of the olive oil.

How to Roast Aubergine and Courgette

There is minimal prep involved here.

  1. Cut each vegetable into 8 wedges, by slicing in half width ways, then cutting the halves length ways twice.
  2. Toss in the olive oil, sumac and salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for 30-40 minutes (depending on how large your vegetables were to begin with).
  4. Finally toss with the fresh herbs and lemon.

Roasted aubergine and courgette2

What to serve with Roasted Aubergine and Courgette

  • Lamb Kebabs
  • Roasted Chicken
  • Toss through with pasta for a vegan main dish
  • Serve drizzled with garlicky yoghurt
  • Take to a pot luck for a healthy veggie option

If you make this Roasted Aubergine and Courgette with Sumac and Herbs then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Roasted Aubergine and Courgette with Sumac and Herbs

These easy Roasted Aubergine and Courgettes are sprinkled with sumac and tossed with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon before serving. A wonderful vegetable dish which can be eaten hot or as part of a salad buffet.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 210kcal


  • 2 aubergines
  • 2 courgettes
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon sumac
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 10 g mint leaves roughly chopped
  • 10 g coriander leaves roughly chopped
  • 10 g parsley leaves roughly chopped
  • Wedge of lemon


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4.
  • Prepare the courgette and aubergine by slicing off the stems. Cut each one in half width ways. Halve each again lengthways and then cut into 16 wedges in total.
  • Place the wedges on a baking tray then toss with the olive oil, sumac and salt and pepper.
  • Roast for 30-40 minutes, checking halfway through to give a good mix around.
  • Once the aubergine and courgette are soft, lightly browned and slightly crispy at the corners then remove from the oven.
  • Sprinkle over the fresh herbs, mixing together with a squeeze of lemon.


  • Cut aubergine browns quickly so don’t leave it hanging around the kitchen after you have turned it into wedges.
  • You can enjoy this dish hot from the oven or cooled and served at room temperature.
  • Lovely served with grilled lamb or chicken or tossed through pasta for a vegan option.


Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 821mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 734IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg

Update Notes: This recipe was originally posted in 2014, but was updated in August of 2019 to make the recipe instructions clearer as well as nutritional information and expert tips.