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Serves 4

2Vidalia, Walla Walla, OSO Sweet, or other large super sweet onions
Salt and black pepper, to taste
4tablespoons olive oil
1sprig fresh rosemary
1sprig fresh thyme
½cup vegetable stock or water
2cloves garlic, chopped
1medium zucchini, diced
½medium Japanese eggplant, diced
½red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
4cherry tomatoes, halved
2tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2ounces plain goat cheese, at room
temperature
¼cup freshly grated Parmesan

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees.

2. Slice the top and bottom of each onion so that they sit flat. Cut the onions in half. Sprinkle the cut sides with salt and pepper. In a skillet with a heatproof handle, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until medium hot. Add the onions, cut sides down, and brown for 3 minutes or until golden. Turn the onions so the cut sides face up.

3. Add the rosemary, thyme, and vegetable stock or water to the pan. Transfer to the oven and cook for 45 minutes or until the onions are just tender. Remove the herbs and reserve the pan juices. Leave the oven on.

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4. Using a small spoon remove the inner layers from each onion, leaving a round hole in each and 2 to 3 layers forming a cup. Fill any holes in the onion bottoms by cutting a small piece from the layers you removed and filling the hole. Chop the remaining onion layers into small chunks.

5. In another skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil until hot. Add the chopped onion, garlic, zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper, and tomatoes. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes. Add ¼ cup of the reserved onion juices to the pan. Continue cooking until the vegetables are tender and the juices have reduced. Add the parsley and chives and stir to combine.

6. Divide the vegetable mixture among the 4 onion cups, filling each generously with stuffing. Top each with a spoon of goat cheese and sprinkle with Parmesan. Set the onions in the skillet in which they cooked.

7. Return the skillet to the oven and bake the onion cups for 12 minutes, or until the cheeses melt. Serve with pasta, rice, or a green salad. Gordon Hamersley