Food recipes often call for spices, indicating whether they should be fresh, dried, or ground. Sometimes the choice is obvious and does not have to be spelled out. The basil should in most instances be fresh. At least not old and moldy.
Some flavorings we mostly use fresh, although sometimes as dried and ground, so recipe writers need to specify. But if it says at the end of the recipe to add salt and pepper to taste, you can bet your cojones it means dried and ground pepper. Do try with pepper corns and let me know how it goes!
And if it says ‘sprinkle a teaspoon cinnamon’ the reader will have to figure out all by herself that it’s not a cinnamon stick the author had in mind.