Step 1Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add one-fourth cup olive oil and heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until they sizzle and are tender, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, olives and thyme, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the tomatoes are warmed through, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the lemon juice and adjust the seasoning to taste. Turn off the heat and reserve in the pan.
Step 2Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Step 3Season both sides of the halibut well with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large ovenproof, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fish and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Turn and place the pan in the oven for 7 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. The fish will flake when gently pressed in the center. Remove the pan from the oven and top the fish immediately with the reserved tomatoes and olives.
Step 4Place the halibut on a large platter to serve with the tomatoes and olives spooned over and around. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Serve with herbed Israeli couscous or the accompaniment of your choice.