Italian chickpea spread

1 15 ounce can chickpeas drained
2-4 tbsp water
1 tbsp roasted garlic olive oil or 1 tbsp. olive oil plus 1 clove of garlic minced
1 tsp Italian Herb Mixture *
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
1-3 tsp balsamic vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice

Combine the chickpeas, 2 tbsp water, the oil, garlic, herb blend in food processor and process until smooth scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add a bit more liquid if necessary to create a thick but spread able consistency and salt to taste (or make slightly thinner for a dip). Taste and add a little balsamic vinegar or lemon juice if you want to intensity the flavors.

Makes about 1 ½ cups.

Chickpea salad dressing: Thin the spread with tomato juice and balsamic vinegar to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Italian Herb Mixture

1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp basil
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp rosemary
1 ½ tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp crushed pepper flakes (optional)

Combine all of the herbs in a small wide-mouthed jar. Shake well. Store in a dark, cool place for up to 3 months.

*I made a small amount guessing at proportions and put in the coffee mill to grind the pepper flakes and fennel seeds.