Preheat oven to 400°.
*Cut the thick ends of the parsnips in half so that all of the vegetables are roughly the same size (1 inch wide by 2 inches long).
Pour olive oil into a medium-size roasting pan; add shallots, garlic, parsnips, sweet potatoes, salt, pepper and herb sprigs. Gently toss to coat with olive oil.
Cover with foil and roast in oven 20 minutes. Remove foil, stir, add figs and balsamic and roast an additional 15 minutes, approximately. Remove when vegetables are tender; pull out herb sprigs and discard. Taste and adjust seasonings, and garnish with additional thyme and chopped rosemary leaves.