Now we know about olive oil. It comes from olives. We know about peanut oil. It comes from peanuts. We know about corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, soybean oil, hazelnut oil, and walnut oil, all of which are pressed or chemically extracted from their namesakes. Canola oil is a trademarked euphemism for a modified variant of rapeseed oil, and you have to admit, the name change has worked wonders from a marketing standpoint. But we – who have consumed many, many salads – could earnestly wonder where in the world salad oil comes from.

In fact, salad oil is a catch-all name for any edible vegetable oil that might be used in a salad dressing. So your non-specific recipe lets you use the equally non-specific vegetable oil, or corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, canola oil, peanut oil, a light olive oil, or any other fairly bland vegetable oil you can find.