Living in North Carolina, there seems to be a BBQ restaurant on every other corner. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but you catch my drift. There are so many different options and everyone has a different opinion on which is best. Since we moved to the area about a year ago, we’ve certainly taste-tested our way through quite a few of these places.
But despite the number of fantastic BBQ restaurants, it can be fairly hard if you’re looking for vegetarian options. Making it at home solves this dilemma.
I’ve come to really love farro over the last few years and decided to use it as the base for these Chipotle Peach BBQ Farro Sandwiches. A whole grain that is slightly nutty, just a bit chewy and a good source of protein and fiber, it can be a great substitute for ground beef or meat. It's the key ingredient in my meatless sloppy joe recipe -- if you like to stick with whole food meat substitutes instead of the store-bought kind, give cooked farro a try!
While the farro is cooking, you’ll first whip up a topping for the sandwiches. Sliced onions are cooked in a skillet for about 15 to 20 minutes, so they get really tender and just start to caramelize. Once that's done, you’ll whisk together a simple homemade barbecue sauce, with hints of sweetness, smokiness and spice. It's the perfect pairing for the onion topping, which helps to cool down the heat from the chipotle.
Load it all up on some buns and you’ve got yourself one finger-licking good meal. We don’t eat a whole lot of chips at our house, but I can’t resist serving them with these sandwiches. Or you can go more traditional BBQ and serve it up with some coleslaw, greens or even sweet potato fries.
Whatever you do, just prepare to get a little messy! In a good way.
For the farro:
- 1 cup pearled farro rinsed
- 3 cups water
For the onions:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion sliced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the sauce:
- 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- ¼ cup peach preserves
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 1 medium green pepper chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon minced chipotle in adobo sauce
- 6 burger buns or rolls
- Add the farro and water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then cover, reducing the heat to medium-low. Let simmer until the farro is tender and a little chewy, 30 to 35 minutes. Drain any excess water and add to a large bowl.
- While the farro is cooking, start on the topping. Set a medium skillet over medium low heat. Add in the olive oil. When hot, add in the sliced onions and sprinkle with the salt. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very tender and the edges are starting to turn golden brown. Transfer the onions to a small bowl or plate and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato sauce, peach preserves, molasses, vinegar and brown sugar. Set the same skillet you used for the onions back over medium heat. Add in the olive oil. When hot, add in the onion and pepper. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chipotle. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour the tomato sauce mixture into the skillet. Lower the heat slightly and let cook until thickened, 15-20 minutes. Add the sauce to the bowl with the farro and mix to combine.
- Spoon some of the farro on the bottom of a bun. Top with onions and cover with the other half of the bun, then serve.