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One French word: champignon, a French recipe: tourte aux champignons

Champignon, masculine noun (un champignon, le champignon, des champignons) = mushroom (pronounced shom-pi-ñawng, slight stress on the first syllable).

Champignon also means fungus in a wider sense.

Types of champignon are endless: champignon comestible = edible mushroom; vénéneux = poisonous; hallucinogène = magic or hallucinogenic; champignons de Paris = button mushrooms; champignons des bois = wild mushrooms; champignon atomique = mushroom cloud; une maladie due à un champignon = a fungal disease; and so on. 

Expressions include pousser comme des champignons = to grow very rapidly (for instance ville champignon = a town that spreads rapidly); appuyer sur le champignon = to put your foot down (on the accelerator);

The word apparently comes from the low Latin campolinius (a small product of the countryside).

Various types of mushroom, photo from a German dictionary, via wikipedia

My recipe for today is for a tourte aux champignons = a mushroom pie. Pies are always comforting. They can be made ahead of time and popped in the oven at the last minute, either to cook or warm up. Not the microwave though, your pastry would be destroyed. They freeze well, before or after cooking. The delicious pastry in the bottom of the pie soaks up juices. I have used puff pastry, but you can just as easily make or buy plain shortcrust pastry, or even suet pastry. My photos are not very good, I’m afraid, the light was lacking.

Tourte aux champignons

For a pie for one person (it’s so much nicer to have one’s own personal pie, just do two or four or however many you will be at table), you will need:

  • 4 nice large fresh firm mushrooms, large enough to be sliced
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • a handful of chopped parsley
  • 30 gr butter
  • a small carrot
  • puff or shortcrust pastry
  • a few spinach leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • grated cheese
  • a little milk



  1. Heat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Prepare your pastry in a thin rectangle about 20cm (8″) square (or to fit and greatly overlap your pie dish). Square is easier than round.
  3. Peel the garlic, chop the parsley, slice the mushrooms thickly, peel and slice the carrot in thin rounds.
  4. Melt the butter in a saucepan and gently sauté the mushrooms, crushed garlic, sliced carrot and chopped parsley. They don’t have to cook much, just soften and be well coated in garlic and parsley butter. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Place the rectangle of pastry in a buttered pie dish letting the spare pastry overhang it. Lay raw baby spinach leaves without their stems in the bottom of the pie and fill with the sautéed ingredients.
  6. Fold the pastry inwards so that the corners meet in the middle. It is OK if there is a bit of a hole at the four outside corners, the steam will escape. Pinch the seams to keep them closed.
  7. Brush with a little milk and sprinkle with grated cheese.
  8. Put in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is puffed and the cheese golden. Serve with a green salad.

Ready to eat!

Delicately garlicky with lots of mushroom flavour.

Bon appétit!


About OneFrenchWord

I was a professional linguist and have been a life-long foodie. I am now lucky enough to be retired and free to roam the beaches around my home at the tip of the Finistère (Brittany, France). Writing is occupying a larger place in my life, with this blog and a children's book in preparation. I shall feel much happier calling myself a writer when I have published a book. And so posts on OneFrenchWord will be published first as an e-book, my ambition being to see a glossy volume on French language and cuisine in print some day. So keep reading, and snap up the book when it appears!

8 responses »

  1. OH, NO, what are you doing to me? I have to print this one out to, and make it. I love mushrooms, and your comment that pies are comforting is just so true. Good you warned people about the microwave. I simply cannot stand it when someone warms up bread in the microwave. It makes any bread tough and horrible. Maybe I am too sensitive.

  2. This look amazing. Mushrooms are one of my favorite things. I made another of your recipes today and it turned out perfectly.

  3. I love mushrooms!

    On a different note, I am planning our trip to Europe and have dedicated two days to your region of France. Do you have a town or village you recommend staying?

  4. Pingback: Shortcrust Pastry « Kerrys Recipes

  5. Thank you so much for this recipe! I’m so excited to try this out :).


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