Preheat oven to 400°. Toss together first 5 ingredients and 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a small bowl.
Cut carrots and parsnips lengthwise into long, thin strips.
Whisk together brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and remaining 3 Tbsp. olive oil in a large bowl. Toss with carrots and parsnips, and place on a lightly greased 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Sprinkle with desired amount of salt and freshly ground pepper.
Bake at 400° for 40 to 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender and browned, stirring every 15 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and gently toss with feta cheese mixture.
This recipe was easy to make and came together quickly. The colors on the table were beautiful and the different flavors complimented each other well. I thought this was a great addition to our Thanksgiving dinner especially because it is on the "lighter" side. Perfect!!!
When I was making this recipe for Thanksgiving 2011, I really had a hard time "envisioning" how feta, lemon, cherry and parsley would come together. The feta lends salt and tang, the lemon and parsley, brightness, and the cherry, tartness...all of which really helped to keep roasted carrots and parsnips, which can get heavy and muddy tasting, refreshing. I really enjoyed this as a counterpoint to all the creamy, fattiness of stuffing, gravy and green bean casserole. It's a sophisticated combination of flavors, so might not be for everybody, but I'm definitely making again for Thanksgiving next year.